Our asparagus patch does quite well, despite evil asparagus beetles fighting us the past two years. Unfortunately for those lil' buggers, this year I'm home quite often and can seek and destroy them more frequently. Flipping through Food in Jars, I immediately decided to pickle some of our asparagus. I'm sure my 8-month-old son will love it as much as he loves dilly beans.
4 lbs. asparagus
3 cups cider vinegar
3 cups water
3 Tbsp. pickling salt
3 lemon slices
3 Tbsp. pickling spices
1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Wash and trim the asparagus, so the asparagus fits into jars with 1/2-inch headspace. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 10 seconds, and then place asparagus in a large bowl of ice water.
Combine vinegar, water and pickling salt together. Bring the brine mixture to a boil. Meanwhile, pack asparagus into sterilized jars along with 1 lemon slice, 1 Tbsp. pickling spices, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes and 1 garlic clove per jar.
Once jars are packed with asparagus, fill with boiling brine, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal jars with sterilized lids. Process jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 3 pints.