Like other pickled vegetables a pickled asparagus recipe provides a way of preserving fresh produce when there is a glut so that we can enjoy our favourites all year around.
Pickling generally involves preserving food in salt, brine or vinegar. The brine in which the vegetables are soaked encourage the growth of “good” bacteria which eat the sugars in the vegetables that support the “bad” bacteria that cause the food to degrade. A by-product of these processes is the creation of lactic acid which gives the food its distinctive tart flavour.
Different foods have different chemicals that affect this process so you should always follow the recipes strictly in terms of weights, volumes and concentrations to make sure your pickles are properly preserved, taste good and are safe to eat.
It is possible to pickle asparagus without using a pressure canner. Simple canning without pickling can only be done with a pressure canner.
Table salt is generally iodized to prevent a thyroid disease and often has an anti-caking agent added to stop it going clumpy and not pouring very well. The anticaking agent can make the pickling brine go cloudy. Using table salt will not affect the flavour or quality of the pickles but will affect the look. As well as the brine being cloudy the iodine may make the pickles darker coloured.
You can buy special pickling salt which does not contain these additives to ensure your brine is crystal clear and your pickles look their best. Pickling salt can be found by searching on amazon in the USA. In the UK it is harder to find.
Sea salt is different to table salt and some chefs consider it superior, however it contains other minerals that can again affect the colour of your pickles.
Kosher salt will not cause any of the cloudiness etc but need to be used carefully as you will need to use different quantities as it is not as dense as pickling salt. How much more varies by brand. Sorry I don’t know enough about Kosher salt brands to help you out here but measuring by weight rather than volume will be in order!
12 oz or pint jars - 10mins at up to 1000ft, 15 mins at 1000 - 6000ft, 20 mins at >6000ft
This pickled asparagus recipe can be experimented with: Try adding a small hot pepper to each jar!
The easiest way to cook Asparagus!
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Basics of how to cook fresh asparagusstart by looking at How to Cook Asparagus first for some background information on a range of cooking methods.
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