Pickled Asparagus | A Blue Ribbon Recipe

Pickling asparagus is a great way to preserve this springtime item. Take a minute to try this blue ribbon recipe which can be enjoyed straight from the jar! With that said, this blue ribbon pickled asparagus recipe partners perfectly with a great homemade Bloody Mary.

pickled asparagus

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Pickled asparagus is one of those things that pairs perfect with everything.  I mean, absolutely everything.

Serve this pickled item with a perfectly grilled steak, with a salad, as a side with eggs Benedict, or, as mentioned above, with a sinfully delicious Bloody Mary.

Maybe, just maybe, if you’re anything like me, it will be devoured straight from the jar.  Yep, straight. out. of. the. jar.  Without a hesitation, gone, consumed, inhaled, in one sitting. Pickled asparagus is truly, honestly, that good.

However, there is one item which beats pickled asparagus, and that would be pickled garlic. During the pickling process the garlic loses its bite and becomes easy to consume.

Growing and Purchasing Asparagus

An asparagus patch takes years, years, to mature. However, with patience and love a beautiful patch will produce stalks for many years to come.

pickled asparagus

Due to the long time frame of establishing a patch consider companion planting the asparagus with strawberries.

Purchasing Asparagus in Bulk

Because fresh asparagus is a springtime item it can often be found in many locations. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Bulk purchases.  Many markets will offer a discount ranging between a 10 to 20% discount.
  2. Buy from a local farmer.  Cutting out the middle man allows for a greater savings.  Keep in mind, many small farms will also offer a discount when purchasing in bulk.
  3. Forage for it. Asparagus grows like a weed in certain parts of the country.
The Secret to a Crisp Pickled Item

The most commonly asked question in regard to canning pickled items is how to maintain the crunch once it’s been canned.  No one wants a soft pickled item, and people try endlessly to discover the secret.  Sadly, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there’s no guarantee an item will remain crisp once it’s been canned.  However, you can try these tips which do help to slow the enzymes which causes the fruit or vegetable to ripen.

  • Add tannins such as grape, oak, or black tea leaves.  Pickle crisp?  Nah, you don’t need it.
  • Use fresh, I mean, picked that same day, or the day before fresh.  The fresher the better.
  • Soak the produce in ice water for 30 minutes; this will help to return firmness to the item.
  • Cutting the blossom end from cucumbers to slow the ripening process.
Jar size for Pickled Asparagus

In order to put up as much of the asparagus stalk as possible consider investing in Ball 24 ounce mason jars.  These jars are specifically designed for pickling asparagus and if you didn’t know, they also make the perfect drinking glass!

pickled asparagus
using ball 24 ounce jars allows more of the stalk to be preserved
Acidity Boosters – Citrus Juice and Vinegar

Explore different types of vinegar when pickling items. There is only one important factor to keep in mind: the acidity level of the vinegar must be 5% or higher. Make sure to verify the acidity level for vinegar, many fall below the required 5%.

Bottled citrus juice (lemon or lime) is higher in acidity than fresh. Fresh lemon found in recipes on this site are used for ascetic appeal. More times than not, bottled lemon juice is also included in the recipe when needed.

Blanch the Asparagus Stalks

Blanch the asparagus spears for roughly 30 seconds prior to filling the jars.  A quick dip in boiling water opens the pores, allowing for the brine to seep into the spears. The process of blanching allows the spears to pickle quicker.

One final tip, fill jars with the tip of the asparagus face down.  This process allows for the stalks to be removed from the jars more easily and intact.

pickled asparagus

Pickled Asparagus – Ingredients
  • Fresh Asparagus, 10 pounds
  • White Wine Vinegar (5% acidity), 4 1/2 cups
  • Water, 4 1/2 cups
  • Dill Weed, 10 tsp
  • Fresh Garlic, 10 cloves
  • Whole Mustard Seeds, 10 tsp
  • Crushed dried Red Pepper, 10 tsp
  • Pickling Salt, 1/2 cup
  • Fresh Lemon
Pickled Asparagus – Instructions
  • Wash and remove wood end of asparagus. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Once blanched, dip into cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • The Brine:
    • Add white wine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a stock pot. Bring to a raging boil.
  • Fill Jars:
    1. In each 25 ounce wide mouth mason jar add 1 fresh lemon slice, 1 tsp dill weed, 1 tsp mustard seed, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 clove of garlic, and asparagus. Fill jars until full. Making sure to leave a 1 inch head space.
    2. Add brine, making sure to leave a one inch head space and remove air bubbles, adjust brine level if needed
    3. Wipe rims, add warmed lids and rings (rings should be applied finger tight)
    4. Process for the appropriate time based on your altitude (see blog for processing times)
Processing Time Based on Altitude

The processing time for any foods being canned is based on the altitude in which you reside. This applies true to items being hot water bath, steam, and pressure canning. This chart is the processing time for pickled asparagus, please select the correct processing time.

Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 – 1,000 ft 1,001 – 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Raw 12-ounce or Pints 10 min 15 20
Printable Recipe – Pickled Asparagus – A Blue Ribbon Recipe
For your convenience a printable recipe card is available. I truly hope you enjoy my blue ribbon pickled asparagus recipe!

Pickled Asparagus - A Blue Ribbon Recipe

Pickled asparagus is a great way to preserve this springtime item. Take a minute to try this blue ribbon recipe which can be enjoyed straight from the jar!

Ingredients

  • 10 pound Asparagus
  • 4 1/2 cups White Wine Vinegar (5%)
  • 4 1/2 cups Water
  • 10 tsp Dill Weed
  • 10 cloves fresh Garlic
  • 10 tsp Mustard Seed
  • 10 tsp dried crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 cup pickling Salt
  • 10 tbsp organic granulated Sugar (optional)
  • 1 fresh Lemon cut in rounds
  • bottled Lemon Juice

Instructions

  • Wash and remove wood end of asparagus. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Once blanched, dip into cold water to stop the cooking process.

The Brine

  • Add white wine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a stock pot. Bring to a raging boil.

Fill Jars

  • In each 25 ounce wide mouth mason jar add fresh lemon slice, 1 tsp dill weed, 1 tsp mustard seed, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, 1 clove of garlic, and asparagus. Fill jars until full. Making sure to leave a 1 inch head space
  • Add brine, making sure to leave a one inch head space and remove air bubbles, adjust brine level if needed
  • Wipe rims, add warmed lids and rings (rings should be applied finger tight)
  • Process for the appropriate time based on your altitude (see time in blog)

Notes

  1. The sugar is an option for this pickled recipe and is not needed. It is added to cut back the tangy flavor of the vinegar.
  2. Blanching speeds up the pickling time. Once canned the jars will need to sit for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to consuming.

This recipe is not comparable to any other. Also, this pickled asparagus recipe is a million times better than what can be purchased at a local market! Enjoy it, friends. And if you’re feeling generous, share a jar or two!

Grab a copy of my book, The Farm Girl's Guide to Preserving the Harvest.

From my farmhouse kitchen to yours, an easy to comprehend guide which walks you though every phase of home food preservation. Learn  how to can, dry, ferment, cure, freeze, and storing fresh foods for long term storage. Included you will also find some of my favorite preserving recipes!

Other Canned Items:

Pickled Golden Beets | White Balsamic Brine

Canning Tomatoes | Easy Steps (with Video)

Pickled asparagus

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Comments

  1. Reese says

    They’ve just posted that asparagus is coming around where I live – so my question is – do you ever use fresh dill & peppers, instead of dried?

    • Ann Accetta-Scott says

      Yes, I often substitute for dried herbs when fresh is not in season. Remember, herbs over time which sit will amplify in flavor. For asparagus size jars I’d add 1/4 teaspoon of dill and how ever much crushed pepper you’d like to add.

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