Asparagus is something I look forward to every year. Steamed and served with a Hollandaise sauce, sauteed with butter, added to stir-fries, made into a creamy soup, roasted or grilled and added to a Mediterranean salad…I love asparagus every which way. And that includes pickling.
Pickled asparagus is delicious for snacking on its own. But my favorite way to enjoy it is alongside a cheese and charcuterie board or antipasto platter. The pickled asparagus adds both the sour/salty element as well as that crunchy texture that so perfectly complements the cured meats and aged cheeses.
To learn everything you need to know about making one, check out our post on How To Create a Cheese and Charcuterie Board.
Pickling is also a great way to extend the shelf life of asparagus. In fact, it’s best eaten at least a week after it’s been pickled.
You’ll probably wish you had made a double batch so that you can give some away to family and friends who will think you’re the absolute bee’s knees. It also makes a great hostess gift.
Let’s get started!
Select the freshest asparagus you can find. I usually aim for medium to thick asparagus so that they maintain they’re crunch, but I gladly use whatever’s available.
Wash the asparagus, trim off and discard the ends, and cut them to fit the length of whatever jars you’re using, leaving 1/4 inch headspace from the top of the jar. If you’re using tall jars you can use long asparagus spears. If you’re using shorter jars, like pint-sized jars, you can cut them in half.
Pack them into sterilized jars as tightly as you can fit them. You may need to do some more trimming to ensure that there’s 1/4 inch headspace from the top.
You can either combine the heads and stems or keep them separated in different jars so you can reserve the best for your guests.
For an extra boost of dill flavor, tuck some fresh dill weed in with the asparagus.
To prepare the brine, add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.
Get ready to pour the hot brine into the jars.
Carefully ladle the hot brine into the jars over the asparagus, making sure to get some of the seeds and garlic in each jar, and leaving 1/4 inch headspace from the top of the jar.
Screw on the lids (I usually don’t can the pickled asparagus because it makes them less crispy, so I use reusable plastic lids). Once the liquid has cooled, refrigerate the pickled asparagus and let it sit for at least a week before using it. Will keep in the fridge for at least a month.
(NOTE: If you really want to can these for long-term storage, immediately after pouring in the hot liquid and sealing the jars, process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours before moving them. Choose thicker asparagus. Will keep for up to a year.)
- 3 pounds fresh asparagus medium to thick, ends trimmed and discarded
- Some sprigs of fresh dill weed
- For the Brine:
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar 5% acidity
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup pickling salt
- 1 tablespoon dill seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar (see sugar-free alternative but don't use if canning)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Cut the asparagus to fit the length of whatever jars you're using, leaving 1/4 inch headspace from the top of the jar. Pack the asparagus into the jars as tightly as you can. Tuck some fresh dill weed in between the asparagus.
- To make the brine, place all the brine ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes.
- Pour the hot brine into sterilized jars, making sure to get some of the seeds and garlic in each jar, and leaving 1/4 inch headspace from the tops of the jars. Screw the lids on. Once the jars have cooled, refrigerate them for at least a week before eating. Will keep in the fridge for at least a month.
- NOTE: If you really want to can these for long-term storage, immediately after pouring in the hot liquid and sealing the jars, process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours before moving them. Will keep for up to a year. Note that canning the asparagus will make them less crispy. Choose thicker asparagus.