Make Ahead

Pickled Asparagus

April 15, 2013
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Asparagus season always feels too short to me, and pickling is a delicious way to extend it. I am a fan of quick pickles and their instant gratification. These pickled spears taste of grass and green -- spring's flavors. I can imagine endless ways to devour them, such as a simple appetizer with homemade mayo to dip in, chopped in a salad, or served with polenta and a poached egg (eggs and asparagus always make a lovely marriage together). My best suggestion, though? Straight from the jar. —BlueKaleRoad

Test Kitchen Notes

I am always happy when I see asparagus at the farmers market. Spring is here, and my favorite vegetable is fresh and crisp! Blue Kale Road's pickled asparagus is a departure for me, and I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it is. I am a fan of pickled anything, and the asparagus retains its crunch, gently spiced with garlic and red pepper flakes and given an infusion of herbs. I used white balsamic vinegar for the brine and reduced the sugar by half because the vinegar was sweet. The quick refrigerator method is exactly what I was looking for: almost instant gratification. They are great straight up, but I layered them on an egg salad sandwich. Delicious! —sdebrango

  • Makes 2 quarts
  • 3 1/2 cups white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 10 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 5 garlic cloves, halved
  • Crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 1/2 pounds (or 2 bunches) of asparagus, ends trimmed (save for making veggie stock)
In This Recipe
  1. For the brine, combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Divide the dill, garlic, a few shakes of red pepper flakes, and asparagus spears between 2 sterilized, quart-sized jars.
  3. Carefully fill the jars with the brine to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim, covering the asparagus completely. Discard any leftover brine. Place lids on the jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

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