I have really gotten into perserving over the past couple of years. It is such an inexpensive, creative, and useful hobby. I started out making and canning tons of different apple and pear items and strawberry jams. Now I have been venturing into pickling. There has definitely been some trial and error. However, I’ve been having a ton of fun and have stumbled upon some tasty canned goods.
A few months ago I saw many of my Instagram friends posting images of canned items with the hashtag #portlandpreservationsociety. I was intrigued! This past week I finally got up the courage to create my own perserved items to bring to the meet-up. It was the perfect meet-up for me to go to because it was also the Portland Preservation Society’s 1-year party. Everyone brought treats and bloody mary fixins for the party.
The swap process was simple enough. Everyone brought 5-6 items to swap and placed them on a table. We then stood around in a circle and explained what we brought before taking turns picking out items we wanted. There were so many creative and interesting items. Not all of the jarred goods were jams or pickles either! People brought infused liquors, salts, herb mixtures, and more.
I picked asparagus to go along with the bloody mary theme. I bought a spicy bloody mary mix, pickled carrots, and the pickled asparagus for guests to snack on. Overall I feel like the asparagus recipe came out spicy, slightly sweet, and highly vinegary. I loved them (and was thrilled to get a few complements) but, I’m sure they would be too much vinegar for some. However, if you LOVE some vinegar and spice then try out this recipe in your next pickling batch!
Spicy Pickled Asparagus Recipe:
- 3-4 bunches of fresh asparagus trimmed to jar size) This will depend on the size of the asparagus— I got an extra bunch and used the small amount of leftovers for dinner.
- 4 cups distilled white vinegar (affilate link: white vinegar)
- 10 or so cups water
- 1/2 cup course salt (affiliate link: I used pickling salt)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 full tablespoons pickling spice (I used a blend from a local store, but this (affiliate link) pickling spice is similar) In the future I plan to make my own. But, I like this one because it has a lot of different peppercorns, bay leaves, and more.
- red pepper flakes for each jar
- 18 garlic cloves (three for each jar)
1. Sterilize Jars & Lids
2. Bring Brine Ingredients (water, white vinegar, pickling spice, pickling salt, sugar) to a boil— let boil for 10 minutes
3. While brine is boiling prepare the canning jars. Put three garlic cloves in each jar then stuff with asparagus, tips towards the top of jar. Try to stuff as many asparagus as possible in the jar.
4. Strain brine through sieve and pour over each of the jars of asparagus. There should be a little room left in the jar, but the asparagus needs to be covered.
5. Lid Jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
6. Put any unsealed jars in the fridge and eat within the month. Sealed, preserved asparagus should be good in the pantry for 1-2 years! Asparagus should be ready to eat after 2 weeks.
These sweet, spicy, and vinegary pickled asparagus were great in bloody mary cocktails. They’d also be wonderful wrapped in prosciutto! BTW- I used the exact same brine and method for my pickled carrots and they were great as well.
Check out the Portland Preservation Society’sTumblr , Facebook, Twitter to learn more!