Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pickled Asparagus - May 19, 2012

My second home canning effort! A few of the stands at the Alexandria farmer's market yesterday still had asparagus and I decided it would be fun to try out the recipe for pickled asparagus I'd just read about in The Preservation Kitchen, a new cookbook I decided to buy based solely on Amazon's recommendation due to my recent purchase of a canner and assorted canning accessories.

This is the first recipe I've tried (and I haven't tasted it yet!) so I can't do a full review yet, but it is very fun to look at and read. When I bought it I didn't realize his restaurant was in Chicago, so it was a delight to read about him sourcing local ingredients from Wisconsin and Illinois. Makes me really miss the midwest!

I ended up halving the recipe that called for four pounds of asparagus and would make about 4 quarts, primarily out of concern for my budget. Half pound bunches of asparagus were $4 each, so the two pounds I did buy cost me $16. Plus, I had to buy two bottles of white wine vinegar (the recipe called for champagne vinegar but I decided that was just too expensive and white wine would have to do) at $4 a piece. The dill is growing on my patio, so that was essentially free. Adding in a few cents for salt and garlic, the we are approaching $12 a quart! Yikes! I sure hope that when I actually bust into these preserves this winter, I decide they were worth the expense!


Jess said...

I'll be interested to hear how these turn out. I think pickles are a little more difficult than other vegetables to can because the finished texture is so important. Mine usually turn out mushier than I like, which obviously isn't a problem with tomatoes or jams. Pickled asparagus is intriguing. Please give an update once you've tasted it!

Jaime said...

I grew up with mushy pickles! I always thought that's how they were supposed to be, until I was an adult and sunk my teeth into a true kosher dill. I'm intrigued by the idea of traditional fermentation and am planning on giving that a try when we have some fresh cucumbers. Apparently you can keep them a virtually unlimited time in cold storage, though that defeats the whole food preservation purpose since the only cold storage here is our already crowded refrigerator. I long for a root cellar!


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