Garlicky Pickled Asparagus – Canning Recipe

Pickled asparagus --- MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

So last Tuesday I pickled 6 lbs of asparagus using a recipe I hadn’t tried before. It wasn’t actually a recipe, it was more of an experiment.  I began canning in 2008 and back then I used standard Mason jars to pickle with. But three years ago, I learned that the canning jar lids have BPA in the lining of the lids. Ever since, I have been hoarding Weck jars. They are more expensive, but I LOVE them.  If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you have likely already learned about my infatuation with Weck jars, but if not, you can read about it here. That said, the one problem I have run into is that I never know how many jars to clean or how many jars a recipe will yield because the jars that I use are all different sizes. (It is easier to eyeball with jams and harder with brines). The perk of this is that I am usually forced to quickly materialize a solution which has so far ended up with positive results and new favorite recipes.

I actually pickled 12 lbs of asparagus last week but the second “experimental recipe” didn’t turn out as well so I won’t be sharing that one. I was trying to hold out for two weeks before I tried the first batch I pickled, but with urging from my daughter, we decided to bust into a jar a week early and I’m sure glad we did. WOW! These are good. I’ve pickled asparagus in the past but this time the recipe was very different and very simple. I’d describe the flavor to be similar to a garlicky pickle; an asparagus pickle. They are perfect.

After tasting one spear, I decided I needed to try it out in a Bloody Mary. So I did.

Pickled Asparagus - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.comMmmmMmmm… yep, just as expected: Delicious

So here’s what you’ll need to recreate this awesomeness…

Ingredients:

  • 6 lbs of fresh picked asparagus
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried dill seed
  • 1.5 bulbs of garlic (15-20 cloves), cleaned and slivered
  • 1/2 cup of pickling salt (honestly, you could do less)
  • 4 cups of white, distilled vinegar
  • 4 cups of water – we use water from our reverse osmosis
  • 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes (optional – add more for more spice)
  • Jalapenos (optional)

You may need more or less brine depending on the jars you are using. I used 4 small asparagus jars and 2 large asparagus jars. If you are using standard Mason jars, then you will likely be fine with the amount of brine.

I bought my asparagus from the local farmer’s market.  It was picked on Friday and canned by Sunday. Can’t really ask for anything fresher unless I grew it myself. I prefer to use medium-sized stalks, for some reason the really large ones totally turn me off. But use whichever floats your boat, they are going to taste great either way!

Pickled Asparagus - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Clean the asparagus thoroughly.  Snap off the ends at their natural point of breakage. (If that doesn’t make sense to you then just cut off the bottom 2″ or so). After it is all cleaned,  blanch it. To blanch asparagus, heat a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Put the asparagus in the boiling water for 60 seconds and remove.Pickled Asparagus - blanching 101 - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Then promptly place the asparagus in an ice bath to stop them from cooking.  Pickled Asparagus -how to blanch - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Then set them on paper towels to dry off some.

At this point, you’ll need to trim the asparagus to fit in your jars. The cut-off 1″ or 2″ can be used in a soup, or sautéed, or simply pickled with the rest of the group. I always pickle the extra cut-off part. Remember to leave 1/2″ of head space in the jar.

Peel, rinse and sliver the garlic.

Put together the brine. In a large pot, combine the vinegar, water, pickling salt, dill seeds and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Pickled Asparagus - - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

While the brine is heating up, divvy up the garlic amongst your jars. Begin packing the jars with asparagus. You want to pack them as tightly as you can without damaging any of the spears. I use a stainless steel chopstick to aid me in this task. Add jalapenos if you are looking for some spice.

Once you have all your jars packed, grab your funnel and pour the hot brine in the jars, leaving 1/2″ head space. Wipe the rims of your jars with a clean cloth, put on the lids and process for 10 minutes.

Try your best to wait for these guys to pickle before devouring. The longer you wait, the better they’ll taste!

Enjoy!

What is your favorite pickled treat?

Take care, Stephanie

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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. peggy sue
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 08:00:55

    Did you have jalapenos in those we tried yesterday? They weren’t spicy at all, just very tasty.

    Reply

    • MinnesotaFromScratch
      Jun 12, 2013 @ 08:02:54

      Nope, no jalapenos in those. I only put them in 2 of the 12 jars since I know how much the little one likes asparagus. Now that I know these taste so good, I sort of want to make another 6 lbs but all spicy!

      Reply

  2. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 08:28:14

    This looks so good and easy. Had never thought of canning asparagus myself, thanks!

    Reply

  3. Debra Elliott
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 09:07:14

    Thank you for sharing this yummy in your tummy recipe!

    Reply

  4. Cakers
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 09:12:43

    Hey Stephanie,

    Did they turn out with a bit of crunch to them, in other words, not too soft? I want to try this but am hoping they’ll be the way we like them…with a bite. You know I trust your judgment. 🙂

    P.S. Awesome write ups in your new blog. I’m proud of you. ❤

    Patty

    Reply

    • MinnesotaFromScratch
      Jun 12, 2013 @ 09:19:23

      Thanks for the compliment! They do have a little crunch to them, but if you wanted more then you could try using thicker spears than I did or just not blanch them at all. Some canners never blanch them but I’ve personally never done it that way. It sure would make the process quicker though 😉

      Reply

  5. sandy
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 10:57:18

    Looks and sounds absolutely yummy. Checking out those cool looking jars now!

    Reply

  6. Renae C.
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 10:59:57

    I’ve never really been a fan of asparagus, but this looks like it could be good!

    Reply

  7. Pam
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 15:40:56

    Love asparagus and this looks so delicious.

    Reply

  8. Trackback: Asparagus Round-Up - WellPreserved.ca
  9. Kate
    May 24, 2016 @ 14:23:50

    I st finished canning my first batch. The asparagus lost that beautiful deep green color. 😦
    I’m sticking one batch in the fridge without processing in the hot water bath. Wish there was a way to keep it from going khaki.

    Reply

    • MinnesotaFromScratch
      May 24, 2016 @ 16:50:41

      Hi Kate, so sorry to hear about your asparagus turning brown. I’ve never had that happen before. Can you send me a picture at minnesotafromscratch (at) gmail (dot) com? I just did a couple quick searches and it says it can be caused from over cooking. Did you blanch the asparagus for the recommended time? I’m also going to e-mail you in case you don’t get a notification for my reply.

      Reply

    • MinnesotaFromScratch
      Nov 26, 2016 @ 12:47:18

      Hey Kate – I emailed you some options and I am just following up after our convo… hope things worked out for your next batch!

      Reply

  10. Tammi Arenkiel
    Aug 19, 2016 @ 06:08:25

    When you say process, do you use a pressure canner or do you just do a hot water bath?

    Reply

  11. Tammi Arenkiel
    Aug 19, 2016 @ 06:10:46

    Do you use a pressure canner or regular ‘hot water bath’ canner?

    Reply

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