I used Marissa's Pickled Asparagus recipe almost to a T, except I was unable to get Penzey's pickling mix which leads me to believe that I will have a much sweeter pickle than I intended. Marissa's recipe can be found HERE but I will write it out my method below. One thing I regret not reading before I stumbled through the kitchen vying for available counter space was the recommendation to save the blanching water. Drained and left to cool, it provides a nutrient rich (and sustainable) water to water the house plants with! Thanks for the tip Marissa - no blanching water will ever go down the sink in this household again!
This was nice to do on a rainy Mother's Day after a wonderful Eggs Benedict breakfast from SP. Anticipating the rain, we got 90% of the garden in yesterday which is a tremendous feat for Maine and our track record. I'm still itching to get out there and plant the 160 onions that are just waiting patiently on the porch.
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed to fit your pint jars and blanched in boiling water for approximately 10 seconds
3 cups vinegar (half apple cider vinegar, half white vinegar)
3 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons pickling spice
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 slices of lemon
4 tall (12 oz) pint jars
1. In a hot water bath, sterilize your jars.
2. Put a lemon slice in the bottom of each jar and pack the trimmed and blanched asparagus into the jars.
3. Tuck a garlic clove down into the asparagus spears.
4. Bring the vinegar, water and spices to a boil. Pour into jars on top of asparagus, leaving at least 1/2 inch of head space.
5. Affix lids and rings on the jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (you can skip this step if you plan on just putting your pickles in the fridge).
6. Wait at least 24 hours before eating, to give the asparagus spears a chance to get sufficiently pickley.