Follow by Email

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Asparagus Pickles

There won't be a Random Food Friday this week because I'm going for a Big Girl's Weekend with my beloved daughter Madelyn. It will be three days of Bay Area food and art. Tomorrow night we're doing the Art Murmur, which is Oakland's version of Sacramento's Second Saturday Art Walk. We haven't done this in about three years and it's long over due. While I'm away having fun, I offer pickled asparagus for your consideration.

These were served at an exciting night of gaming last Saturday. The feedback was a unanimous thumbs-up, with requests for more for the express purpose of stirring bloody marys.
One of the things I learned from this first attempt is that I'd like to make them longer. Four and half inches seems longish for a pickle, but it's positively stumpy for asparagus. I will be seeking out some wide mouth jars that hold more than a pint. I did use the bottom end to make asparagus pickle chunks. It seemed the sensible thing to do. I think they will fabulous chopped into an egg salad.
I made two jars with red pepper flakes and two without. Next time, it is all red pepper flakes all the time. For these pickles, I put the flavorings in each jar, along with the asparagus, then poured the hot brine over. As usual, I had some brine left over. Not the worst thing that can happen. They are not exactly crunchy, but nor are they soggy. They are highly seasoned tender-crisp spears of goodness. Enjoy!

Asparagus Pickles
4 bunches of asparagus, about 5 lbs.
4 large cloves of garlic, split and peeled
4 sprigs of fresh dill
2 cup white vinegar
6 cups water
1/3 cup pickling salt
1 tsp. whole black pepper corns
1 tsp. dill seed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Start a boiling water bath. Prepare 4 wide mouth pint jars and lids.

Add the vinegar, water and salt to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Set aside.

Wash and trim the asparagus to fit into your jars with 1/4 inch head space. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch prepared asparagus for 10 seconds (no more!) and remove to ice water to cool. This helps set the color. Once cool, drain.

When the jars have been sterilized, measure 1/4 tsp. each black pepper corns, dill seed and red pepper flakes into each. Tightly pack the asparagus tips into the jars, inserting the dill weed about halfway through. (If you wish, make use of the asparagus ends as I did.) Pour the hot brine over the asparagus. Wipe the rims and close the jars. Process in the boiling water bath 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes before carefully removing the jars to a towel lined tray. Do not disturb until cool and the seals have formed.

No comments:

Post a Comment