I think this month there will be lots and lots of pickled asparagus. I knew the minute that this months theme was announced that it was my first choice. The other ingredient that shared this months theme spotlight was rhubarb, and I am not a fan. I've never enjoyed it, last year's strawberry/rhubarb jam and rhubarb chutney sit ignored on our storage shelf and I always side step them for other favorite preserves.
I've read about using the asparagus as garnish in a Ceaser... mmm that sounded tasty, so here is the recipe that I used, not much was adapted although there was an error in my printed copy as the sugar was missing from the ingredient list. I made one jar with the chili and 2 without so I had a variation. Can't wait to try these in a few weeks.
(adapted from Well Preserved by Mary Anne Dragen)
approx 5lbs of Asparagus
4 cups of Water
4 cups of White Vinegar
1 large Onion peeled, halved and sliced in 1/4" slices
6 cloves of Garlic
3 tbsp of Pickling Salt
3 tbsp of Sugar
3 tbsp of Mustard Seeds
2 tbsp of Dill Seeds
Chili Peppers (optional - I used 2 small Serrano's in 1 jar)
This recipe yielded 3 - 1L Jars
1 -Trim Asparagus spears to jar length - I used a great tip from Well Preserved here! They should stand at least 1" shorter than the rim of the jar.
2 - Perpare your canning jars and lids
3 - Combine water and vinegar in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep the mixture at a simmer.
4 - Working with 1 jar at a time, place a third of the onion slices, 2 cloves of garlic, a chili pepper if using, 1 tablespoon each of sugar, salt, mustard seeds and 2 teaspoons of dill seed. Pack the asparagus in each jar tips down. It helps to lay the jar on it's side - I really wish I had used a wide mouth jar for these. It would have prevented damage to the spears and made loading the jars much easier! Pack them in tight.
5 - Pour hot vinegar liquid into the jars leaving 1/4" headroom and seal with prepared lids. Hot water process jars for 20 minutes.