Oh Boy! Pickled Asparagus!!!
Yesterday I ran up to Penticton to check out on the possibilities of getting into their weekend Market or Farm Market. And I got fresh picked asparagus!
Normally I would be buying pounds and pounds of it, but as we can’t “officially” make anything to sell yet, I bought 10 kilos (or 20.25 pounds). Now that sounds like a lot, but I knew I would only get 7-8 jars of pickled yumminess. A bunch of Baby Dill, a handful of Thai Peppers. At the grocery store I got a couple of lemons.
Today, I washed and trimmed the asparagus to size. The size is determined by the height of the jar, less 3/4 inch. And I washed and put the jars in the processor to boil. I also put on the lids and rings to boil. As soon as they boil, I turn off the heat.
I like to leave it in cold water while I get the rest if the ingredients ready.
One everything is trimmed and cut, I can take the jars out of the processor for filling. I also put on the vinegar/water/salt solution to boil.
Into each jar I put: 1/2 tsp mustard seed, 1 Thai Chili pepper, 2 garlic cloves and a sprig of dill.
The easiest way to fill asparagus jars is to lay them on their side. I place a slice of lemon on top of the asparagus and then roll the jar to get a piece on the other side. I then stand the jars on end and jam the asparagus in to get a tight fit.
I pour the boiling pickle brine into an 8 cup measure and then fill the jars with the brine.
I wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp paper towel, add the lids and rings, tighten and put them in the canning pot.
Put ion the lid, and bring back to a boil and Voila!
In a week we can open the first jar!
Makes 6 Jars
- 3 pounds asparagus
- 2 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt
- 3 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 lemon, sliced and seeded
- 6 12-ounce mason jars with lids
- Wash your jars, lids, and bands with hot, soapy water. Once the water in the canning pot is boiling, use your jar tongs to lower the jars into the pot. Make sure they are completely submerged. Boil for at least 10 minutes (longer is OK). Place the lids in a small saucepan and cover in water. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit.
- Pour water, vinegar, and salt into a saucepan, bring to a boil. Trim asparagus to fit the jar. Cut them short enough that when they rest in the jar there is about 3/4 inch to the rim. (I use a jar as a guide as you see in the picture above).
- Once the jars have sterilized (boiled for 10 minutes) and the vinegar solution is hot, it is time to pack the jars. Using jar tongs, lift each jar from the boiling water, pour any water trapped inside back into the pot. Place the jars, open side up on a tray. Into each jar place two garlic cloves, a pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed. Pack the asparagus spears in tightly (I like them tip down, but it does not really matter). Slide a lemon slice or two down the edge of the jar.
- Pour the boiling vinegar solution into the jars leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rip of each jar. Lift a lid from the hot water. Place the lid on the top of a jar. Place a band over the lid and screw down with your fingertips. (Do not really crank it down with your whole hand. You want the seal to form from the processing and not your force). Repeat with the rest of the jars.
- Use your jar tongs to lower the full jars into the boiling water bath. The water will temporarily stop boiling as you add the jars. Wait until the water is boiling and then set a timer for 10 minutes. After ten minutes of boiling, life the jars from the boiling water. Let cool on the counter. Label with date and a description of the contents. You can store the pickles for up to a year.