Spicy Pickled Asparagus


Spicy Pickled Asparagus

Memory in a Jar

Pickling Spices

“The dinner table was set in the house. Lee said, I’d have liked to serve it under the tree like the other times, but the air is chilly.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


A friend of mine who knows I like to try new canning recipes asked me if I’d ever tried pickled asparagus. Would I make some and bring him a jar please. Oh, make it spicy too. I always shrug my shoulders and say I’m more of a jam maker. But that’s one of the reasons I decided to join the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, to try new recipes and techniques. After making regular pickles with cucumbers one quickly realizes that most vegetables and fruits can be pickled. A tangy solution to saving seasonal produce that brightens salads, cheese plates and sandwiches. Even roasted vegetables seem pale in flavor comparison.


The May FIJ Mastery Challenge is cold pack, a hot brine surrounds cold vegetables or fruit. The variations are endless. After putting together the jars they can be canned for long term storage or kept in the refrigerator. Before use, a 24 hour rest gives the hot brine a chance to infuse and pickle.

Spicy Pickled Asparagus


It was one of those damp, foggy, coastal mornings and making spicy pickles was a stab at that hot summer we always dream about. I followed this recipe, using the pickling spice I had mixed last fall, adding dried hot Thai chilies, sliced fresh jalapeños plus a heaping tablespoon of red pepper flakes. I used the pint canning jars I already had, which meant the asparagus spears got a serious trimming. Instead of throwing out all the leftover asparagus stalks, I made another jar of pickles with the tender part of the trimmings. I still had leftover brine and made a jar with the leftover jalapeños too. After cooling these two jars went in the refrigerator for salads and tacos and the Mr’s favorite white chili. When these pickles are gone I’m going to make a spicy salad dressing with the brine.

The Spicy Pickled Asparagus Spears will mellow in their brine while I use up the refrigerator pickles first. I’ll pull them out of the cupboard in a few months when fresh, local asparagus is just a spring memory. That’s the best part of canning, a memory of the season captured in a jar.

Spicy Pickled Asparagus

This entry was posted in Canning and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Spicy Pickled Asparagus

  1. mjskit says:

    I’ve never heard of pickled asparagus! What a great thing to try. I like the look of the original recipe, BUT…I’m sure your added Thai chile and jalapeno more these really, really spicy. Just the way I live them. 🙂 Good use of the leftovers as well. I use pickling brine in a lot of things, including salad dressings and the acid for homemade mayonnaise. It give the mayo a real kick. 🙂 Loved this post and will be sharing it! Thanks!

  2. Something that i would love to try since i am a fan of asparagus and have never had them pickled.

  3. Cathy says:

    I think I might like pickled asparagus, but had never even heard of it before. I have never tried pickling things, as we rarely eat pickles, but I love fresh green asparagus which is a speciality here along with the white blanched variety too.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Cathy! Making different kinds of pickles, sweet, tangy and spicy has brought a whole new world of flavors to my kitchen. I hope you give it a try!

  4. OMG I love pickled asparagus but I’ve never found a recipe that lives up to my expectations. I must try this one! It sounds perfect!

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Kelsie! My recipe makes spicy pickled asparagus, you can change up the spices to suit the level of heat you like!

  5. Deb, I might have to try this . That pickle juice would be great to add to egg salad and potato salad. I love all things pickled.

  6. I’ve never tried picked asparagus, but your method makes it sounds so easy and I love your addition of Thai chilies and red pepper!

  7. I’ve never had pickled asparagus! Don’t think I’ve ever seen it, so I’ll have to make it. Sounds pretty easy to do, thank goodness. And I love spicy, so mine will be spicy!

  8. The asparagus is going to have a real kick with three different kinds of chili. Can’t wait to hear how your friend liked them.

  9. Ala says:

    Canning is so great because it really is like creating a time capsule of sorts <3 I can't wait to see how this turns out for you. Thank you so much for sharing, Deb!

  10. Pingback: May Mastery Challenge Round-Up: Cold Pack Preserving - Food in Jars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *