Tangy, crunchy and addictive
Pickling is a delightful way to enjoy vegetables. It preserves their freshness and texture and adds a juicy tanginess to them – and asparagus make super-delicious pickles! Since the spring shoots are pickled raw, they remain crunchy. Plus the pickled juices in this recipe lend their alluring flavors to the tender spears. Indeed, the asparagus turn out to be as addictive as candies.
Use skinny asparagus spears for the best texture and flavor
One recommendation, though: use skinny asparagus, the pencil-thin kind, for pickling – they’re much more refined and delicate, and they end up soaking more of the flavor from the pickling juices. The pickled asparagus are delicious layered in a sandwich or tossed in a salad. But they’re also superb on their own as a side veggie, a condiment, an hors d’oeuvre or a tapa.
Pickled asparagus with pink peppercorn and mustard seeds
makes 1 lb (455 g)
active time: 15 min
- 1 1/4 cups Champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups organic sugar
- 4 strips lemon peel (3″ long)
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole pink peppercorn (or black peppercorn)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) pencil-thin asparagus – tough ends snapped off
- Place the vinegars, water, sugar, lemon peel, mustard seeds, pink peppercorn and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally so the sugar dissolves. Once boiling, remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature to infuse. (Do not cover the pan.) Once the pickling juices have cooled, place the asparagus in a tall glass jar and pour the pickling juices over them. Push the asparagus down a few times so they are submerged (the asparagus will float) and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 1 week. The asparagus will start turning yellow if stored for a longer period.