This month over at the Local Dish TO, Live Green Toronto and Feast ON are celebrating Ontario asparagus. So we thought we’d join in, with an Ontario-asparagus-inspired #TasteTested recipe. Asparagus might only be fresh and local for a short period of time, but learning to preserve it will help you enjoy it all year long.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than learning to make the foods you love to eat. After learning to preserve using the water bath canning method, I started making my own pickles. It’s taken me some trial and error, but I’ve finally found the recipe that gets me the perfect batch of pickled veg (asparagus, cucumbers, hot peppers, you name it!). Not too salty, and often with a bit of kick (courtesy of a thai pepper, or five), my pickles are much-requested at family gatherings, as birthday gifts, and are a definitely a perk to living with me. I won’t be waiting generations to declare this recipe a Fischer family tradition!
As folks in Ontario know, there’s no better time to pickle your asparagus than in May. Your window of opportunity to enjoy local asparagus is small, so act fast! Hit up a farmers’ market, and follow the instructions below for garlically delicious pickled asparagus you can enjoy all year long.” — Anna Fischer, Feast ON Communications Coordinator
- Ontario Asparagus (4 pounds, or 3-4 bunches)
- Garlic (1-2 cloves/jar)
- Honey (2 Tablespoons, or to taste)
- Fresh Dill (1 bunch, divided among the jars)
- Dill Seed (1 teaspoon/jar)
- Mustard Seed (1 teaspoon/jar)
- 1/2 Cup Salt
- 2.5 Cups White (or Pickling) Vinegar
- 3.5 Cups Water
- Prepare a water bath for your clean jars.
- Bring a small pot of water to boil, and place all the jar lids and rings you intend to use inside. Boil for 2 minutes and then keep covered.
- Combine water, vinegar, salt and honey in a stock-pot. Bring to a boil, and then keep warm. This is your picking brine!
- Rinse the asparagus and snap the ends off. For a 250ml jar, 3 inches is an ideal length. If your asparagus is longer, consider a larger jar, rather than wasting good produce!
- Drop the spices, garlic, and fresh dill into the jars.
- Pack in the asparagus, spear top side up. Tilt the jars so that the asparagus doesn't fall over. Pack the jars as tightly as possible, the more vegetable in the jar the less brine you'll use up!
- Using a measuring cup and funnel, pour brine into the jar, leaving about 1/2" of headspace at the top. Make sure nothing floats up that might prevent the jar from sealing properly.
- Use a knife (or chopstick) to carefully try to loosen out any air bubbles.
- Wipe clear any stray brine with a clean cloth.
- Seal and place jars carefully into your canning kettle, start timer when it comes to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes.
Not sure where to find local asparagus? Thanks to the Ontario Asparagus Growers, you can find a local grower using their interactive map!