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The beginning of the canning season is always exciting and overwhelming. To many, canning seems like something our grandmas did to feed their families all year. And guess what? This is still true and a great reason to preserve. But canning can also be purely for fun and a way to try new, exciting things.
Pickled asparagus is the latter. I love anything pickled and it’s my personal missing to try to pickle everything. Well, maybe not everything… Asparagus that’s simply canned turns soft and has no flavor. But when pickled, the asparagus retains some texture and has a lot of flavor. Simple ingredients with a quick canning time make this super easy and a great thing for a first-time canner!
What is pickling?
Pickling is one of the earliest forms of preservation and there are more ways than one to pickle.
- Naturally fermented pickles are made with salt and water and sit at room temperature. At this point, good bacteria take over, working to preserve and create the flavor. Once fermented, they are stored in the refrigerator to stop the fermenting process.
- Canned pickles, like this asparagus recipe, are made using a brine with vinegar. The high ratio of vinegar helps create a safe canning environment. After canning in a water bath, this type of pickle can be stored at room temperature for at least one year.
How do I use pickled asparagus?
Anything pickled is a snack for me, but these pickled asparagus spears have so many uses:
- Serve these with Bloody Marys.
- Place on charcuterie boards.
- Sprinkle them chopped on a salad.
- Use as a substitute for a dill pickle for something more unique.
Canned goods make wonderful host and hostess gifts because it’s a way to share something special you created. The best part: this doesn’t make a large batch so they’re easy to use!
Watch how to make this pickled asparagus
How to Can Pickled Asparagus
For the brine
- 4 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 3 ¼ cups water
- ¼ cup honey
- 3 tbsp canning salt
For each jar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 ½ to 3 lb fresh asparagus
For the brine
- In a 4-quart kettle, combine the vinegar, water, honey, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to barely a simmer to keep hot.
For the jars
- This recipe makes 5 24-oz jars or 7 pints jars. In each sterilized jar, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ½ tsp turmeric powder, and 1 clove of garlic. Clean and trim the asparagus to fit in the jars leaving ½-inch of headspace.
- Once the jars are filled with spices and asparagus, add the prepared hot brine to cover the asparagus, leaving ¼-inch headspace. To remove any drips and ensure a good seal, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth. Secure lids and rings according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Place in a boiling water bath. Bring back to a boil and boil for 15 minutes if using 24 oz jars and 10 minutes if using pint jars. Remove from water bath and cool for 12 hours before storing. Store for up to 1 year.