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Pickled Asparagus Experiment

I tried a pickled asparagus experiment. I purchased 3 pounds of asparagus on sale, and decided to pickle the hell out of it. I used a recipe from the blog Food in Jars. It’s a great blog, but unfortunately in this case, the recipe was not a success. I have a theory why, which may be as simple as a transcription error in the recipe, though I may have made a mistake elsewhere in the process.

For my own records, here is the recipe I used:

Pickled Asparagus, adapted from Putting Up by Stephen Palmer Dowdney
  • 4 pounds asparagus, trimmed to fit your pint jars and blanched in boiling water for approximately 10 seconds
  • 3 cups vinegar (half apple cider vinegar, half white vinegar)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons Penzeys pickling spice
  • 3 small jalapeno peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled

I blanched the asparagus for 15 seconds before jarring. I added the spices, and poured in the brine mixture. I processed in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. After processing, the asparagus were shriveled, as though the moisture had been sucked out of them. In retrospect, the recipe seemed to have a lot more salt than the other pickling recipes, about 50% more. Perhaps the recipe should have been 1/4 cup of salt or something similar.

I’ll still try them when they have finished pickling, but my hopes for good texture are not high. A future experiment with a modified saline level should prove useful.

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I am so sorry that your batch didn’t turn out well. I’ve added a note to that post, asking people not to use it until I can look at my notes and the recipe source to determine the problem (although I think you’re probably right – too much salt). I’m currently on my honeymoon, but I’ll be back in Philly next Wednesday evening and will check it out then.

    Could I send you a jar of jam as a small apology for the recipe disappointment?

  2. I was searching the internet to find out why my pickled asparagus was shriveled and looked as if the moisture had been sucked out when I came across the above comment. My recipe called for 12 cups of water, 4 cups of vinegar, and 2/3 cup of salt. I wondered if my brine was too weak or if I should have blanched them first. Any ideas out there. Thanks Karen

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