Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pickled Asparagus

A couple months ago when the the Boy and I were doing something we rarely do, shopping.  Specifically clothes shopping, we're all over grocery shopping, garden shopping, house shopping, you name it. But clothes, that's something we just don't do together.

Anyway, I was in the dressing room at Anthropologie and he was sitting in what he likes to call the "man chair".  Anthropologie is great for that because they usually have some big soft and comfy chairs and couches.  Anyway, he sat there playing on his blackberry for awhile and then he looked around and noticed that they have books.  At this point he was a bit worried because I had been in the dressing room for awhile and he was contemplating coming in and looking for me or asking a sales girl if I was alright.

But back to the books, he perused some of the shelves that held books and various other chotchkes when he came across Canning and Preserving for a New Generation.  He picked it up and started thumbing through while I finished shopping.

When we checked out he added it to our pile.  I thought it looked interesting but didn't think much about it past that.  When we got home I thumbed through the book and decided I really liked it because it was truly about more than just canning.  There are blurbs about freezing and then recipes that use all of the things you've canned or preserved.  I love it!

Recently, at my local farmer's market I saw gorgeous thick stalks of asparagus.  I love asparagus and when they're in season they're amazing and cheap.  But I had never thought about preserving them until I came across an asparagus pickle recipe in my new book.

print recipe
Pickled Asparagus
  • 1 lb thick asparagus tips (4" long) cut from 3 bunches of whole asparagus
  • 2 cups rice vinegar (4% acidity)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsps pure kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsps sugar
  • 2 tsps pickling spice
  • 2 cloves garlic - peeled
1. Wash the jars and keep them in the hot canning pot, put the flat lids in a heatproof bowl. The water should be just about ready to boil when you start the process.2. In a wide saucepan, bring a couple inches of water to a boil, then add asparagus, bring back to a boil, remove from heat immediately, drain and add to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking. Once completely cooled, drain well.3. In a nonreactive pot combine the vinegar, water, salt & sugar. Bring to a boil.4. Ladle a bit of the boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids. Carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter from the canning pot, pouring the water back into the pot. Place the jars upright on a folded towel. When ready to pack the asparagus, drain the water off the lids. 5. Divide the asparagus, pickling spice & garlic between the jars. Ladle the hot vinegar mixture into the jars leaving 1/2" headspace. Using a chopstick or the back end of a wooden spoon, remove the air bubbles from each jar by moving around the asparagus. 6. Using a damp cloth wipe the rims of the jars, top with a flat lid and a ring tightened just as much as you can by hand. Return the jars to the canning pot, making sure they are covered by at least 1" of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Carefully remove to the folded towel and leave undisturbed for 12 hours, checking after and hour to make sure the lids of popped. If not the jar should be placed in the fridge and used within the month.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 500 ml jars

I am so excited to have these lovelies sitting on my canning shelf in the basement, we haven't tasted them yet, but I'm certain they will be delicious on those winter days when all I want is some asparagus.

The best part is with the parts of the stalks that were leftover I was able to freeze some asparagus puree and make a delicious frittata

What have you canned this past week?


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