12866 Route 78, East Aurora, NY 14052 Google Map 716-655-4486
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Asparagus pickles

Asparagus pickles (from Fermented Vegetables)

1-2 lbs asparagus spears

3-4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

½ teaspoon chili pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

3-4 dried red chilies (cayenne if you want spicy; sweet if you want pretty without heat)

1 grape leaf (optional)

2-3 cups brine (3/4 cups unrefined sea salt to 1 gallon unchlorinated water)  

1. Snap the woody ends off spears, then cut them to fit in a 1 quart jar or crock; 5 inches is about right to leave room for the brine to cover them. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife, just enough to break them. Put the peppercorns, pepper flakes, and bay leaf in the bottom of a 1 quart jar or crock. Arrange spears upright, wedging the garlic and dried chilies between the spears. Put the grape leaf, if using, on top of the spears. Pour enough brine to fully cover the spears. Cover loosely. Store any leftover bring in the fridge (it will keep for a week, discard thereafter and make a new batch if needed.)

2.     Set aside on a baking sheet to ferment, somewhere nearby out of direct sunlight and cool, for 5-8 days. During the fermentation period, monitor the brine level and top off with the reserved brine solution if needed. You may see scum on top, it’s generally harmless.

3.     The pickles are ready when the spears are a dull olive green and the brine is cloudy. We generally don’t taste test these if we are going to store them in the jar because we want to keep the spears tightly packed. These will be soft, but not mushy and have a pickled (but not vinegary) flavor.

4.     Store in jars, with lids tightened, in the fridge. After about 1 day, check to be sure the pickles are still submerged, topping off with reserved brine if necessary. These pickles will keep for 12 months refrigerated. The flavor intensifies over time.  

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