This recipe comes from Kevin West's Saving the Season. Thank you Kevin for the plethora of amazing canning recipes I have enjoyed making successfully over the past few years.
I spied a bag of fresh green garlic as I checked out the local farm stand. What to do with this beautiful, young garlic? Kevin's pickled asparagus recipe led my 2020 canning season with great success.
Preserving asparagus usually involves cutting away a good portion of the stalk because of the height of the jars and the woody ends. This year, I am using these pieces to make asparagus relish- no waste.
This recipe makes two 750ml jars or three 500ml jars.
3 lbs fresh, fat asparagus
1.5 cups white wine vinegar
1.5 cups water
1.5 tsp kosher salt, plus more for the pot
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
2 allspice berries, crushed
1/2 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
6 four-inch sprigs, fresh tarragon
6 green garlic "scallions"
Heat a large pot of water for blanching the asparagus. In a separate saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, pepper, allspice, bay leaf, thyme and three sprigs of tarragon. Bring to a boil , remove from heat, then steep for 15 minutes.
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus, and peel the base with a vegetable peeler if you like. Trim the stalks to size by measuring one stalk against the height of the canning jar and using it as a guide when you trim your stalks.
Salt the blanching water and working in batches, blanch the asparagus for 90 seconds, or until half cooked. Shock the asparagus in a bowl of ice water to arrest the cooking.
Pack the spears into the prepared jars, along with a fresh sprig of the remaining tarragon per jar. Divide the garlic among the jars.
Strain the pickling syrup and discard the aromatics. Bring the syrup back to the boil and ladle over the asparagus, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal the jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Wait one week before opening.