Pickled asparagus is one of the tastiest things to ever emerge from a Mason Jar, especially when it’s made to the specifications of Barbara Norconk, who helps run one of the finest asparagus farms anywhere. Give her recipe a try! Reprinted verbatim below.
Norconk Farm Pickled Asparagus
6 clean, large-mouth ½ gallon jars. Sterilize by rinsing in boiling water. 6 new lids and rings, washed and sterilized in boiling water. (Optional: May use 12 1-quart jars. You will need 12 lids and rings.)
7 pounds of cleaned Norconk Farm asparagus. To clean asparagus, turn spears upside down and swish in warm water for 15 seconds. This will cause the tips to open slightly and the sand will fall out. Rinse entire spears a second time in warm water to remove any residue. Place spears on a towel to drain.
8 Cups apple cider vinegar
8 Cups water
4 Tablespoons canning salt
Bring above ingredients to a boil and simmer on medium.
While brine is coming to a boil, place whole asparagus spears in jars, as tightly as possible, and fill to 1 inch of top. (Spears will shrink slightly as they pickle.)
In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon each of the following spices together.
To each jar add:
1 Tablespoon of the mixed spices
3 Sprigs of fresh dill or 1 tablespoon of dried dill
Half of a fresh jalapeño pepper
2 Cloves of garlic in each jar
Pour hot brine in filled jars, to ¾ inch of jar top. Place lid and rind on top and seal. Be careful as brine and jars are very hot. Hot bath jars in a large pot for 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool. Jar lids should seal as brine cools. Asparagus should be good to eat in two to three weeks. We have eaten pickled asparagus a year later and it is just as good. Lately, we never seem to have any left by the beginning of our new season Our friends and family just expect it to appear whenever we are invited to dinner.—Barbara Norconk
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