One of the first crops of the season is asparagus and it is a good candidate for pickling. Use the freshest asparagus for best color. Choose spears with straight, green (possibly tinged with purple) and tightly closed tips. Thinner spears are preferred for pickling. The quality deteriorates very rapidly after it has been harvested, so keep it cool.
Pickled Asparagus Recipe
For six wide-mouth pint jars
10 pounds asparagus
6 large garlic cloves
4-1/2 cups water
4-1/2 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
6 small hot peppers (optional)
1/2 cup canning salt
3 teaspoons dill seed
For seven 12-ounce jars
7 pounds asparagus
7 large garlic cloves
3 cups water
3 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
7 small hot peppers (optional)
1/3 cup canning salt
2 teaspoons dill seed
- Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
- Wash asparagus well, but gently, under running water. Cut stems from the bottom to leave spears with tips that fit into the canning jar with a little less than ½-inch headspace. Peel and wash garlic cloves. Place a garlic clove at the bottom of each jar, and tightly pack asparagus into jars with the blunt ends down.
- In a 8 quart pan combine water, vinegar, hot peppers (optional), salt and dill seed. Bring to a boil. Place one hot pepper (if used) in each jar over asparagus spears. Pour boiling hot pickling brine over spears, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
- Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
Allow pickled asparagus to sit in processed jars for 3 to 5 days before consumption for best flavor development.
Botzek-Linn, D., June 2012. University of Minnesota Extension, Home Food Preservation Newsletter