I love spicy food, pickled vegetables, and asparagus, so it was only a matter of time until I tried marrying all three. Just opened my first jar, and they came out really nice. Lots of crunch, and a whole lot of kick.
This recipe is really just a slight variation on the one I use for pickled peppers. Just use more peppers instead of the asparagus.
Makes 3-4 pints
5 cups cider (5%) vinegar
1 cup water
4 teaspoons picking salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh asparagus
6-8 slices of carrot
6-8 slices of onion
6-8 cloves garlic, pealed
3-4 jalapeno peppers
3-4 habanero peppers
You’re going to want taller picking jars, to account for the length of the asparagus.
Prepare a boiling water bath for the bottles. I heat the water up with the jars and lids in them, so that they get nice and sterile.
You’re going to pickle the veggies in a brine. Combine the vinegar, water, picking salt, and sugar in a medium, non-reactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and stir briefly to dissolve the salt and sugar. Cover and keep at just boiling while you prepare the veggies and jars.
Trim the ends off the asparagus. The need to be short enough to fit in your jars. If they’re particularly thick, you might want to peel them, but I generally don’t find that necessary.
Remove the stems from the peppers. You can either slice them or use them whole (I prefer whole). If you leave them whole, puncture each pepper several times with the point of a knife to allow the brine in.
If you pull the seeds from the peppers, it won’t be as hot. You also could use a second jalapeno instead of the habanero.
Using tongs, carefully remove the jars and lids from the water bath and place on the counter on a kitchen towel. You can pull them all at once, or one at a time as needed, but let each cool a bit before you start filling them.
Place two pieces of carrot, two pieces of onion, two cloves a garlic, a jalapeno and a habanero in each jar. Fill the rest of the jar with asparagus. Pack the veggies in tightly, but don’t crush them.
Fill the jar with the hot brine. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean towel, and close lids tightly. Place the jars in the boiling water bath for ten minutes.
Remove, dry, and store in a cool, dark place for at least one month. I prefer to age them two months. They should last a year, easily.
When you open a jar, store it in the fridge. At that point, I doubt they will last long!