PICKLED ASPARAGUS

YIELD: AROUND 6 CUPS
   
INGREDIENTS:
1.1kg (2.4lb) asparagus
2 1/2 cups vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons pickling salt
3/4 cup sugar (optional)
   
METHOD:
  1. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill.
  2. Discard tough stems from the asparagus. Trim asparagus 2cm shorter than jar height. Smaller pieces can be pickled too. Rinse and drain.
  3. Combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar (if using) in a pan. Bring to a boil, and boil gently for 3 minutes.
  4. Place lids into a bowl of boiled water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal. 
  5. Add herbs/zest/garlic if using (see flavour ideas below) into each jar.
  6. Pack jars tightly with raw asparagus, stalks upright if desired (packing stalk down is easier to remove when serving though). Add hot marinade to 1cm from the rim. Remove bubbles, check headspace is correct, and wipe rims with damp paper towel then seal. 
  7. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool. 
  8. Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months. Jar lids should not flex up or down when pressed.
   
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
  • Lime & Black Pepper – strips of lime zest + 2-3 peppercorns per jar
  • Garlic - 1 garlic clove per jar
  • Lemon & Garlic - strip of lemon zest + 1 garlic clove per jar
  • Dill – 1 garlic clove + 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds + 1/2 teaspoon dill seeds per jar
     
pickled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto before serving

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