Don't you just love using vegetables when they are in season?
But, what if you want to preserve the season's bounty for a later date? Fermentation is one method for doing that.
What is Fermentation?
There are many methods for preserving fresh vegetables. Fermentation is one of them. It's a traditional form of food preservation that involves submerging the vegetables in a salt brine and allowing beneficial bacteria (mainly lactobacillus) to take over.
If you are new to fermentation, here is a good primer from Economies of Kale: Lacto-Fermentation for Beginners
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. Unfortunately, only one other person in my family shares my love of this green superfood.
What was I to do with 4 bags of fresh asparagus that I bought on sale? Make asparagus pickles, of course!
Tips for Pickling Asparagus:
- Use fresh, crisp asparagus. Too ripe asparagus will get mushy during the fermentation process.
- Use organic if possible.
- Sterilize your jars before you get started.
- You will need tall pint and half mason jars so that the asparagus will fit.
What You Need:
- Pint and Half Mason Jars
- Organic Pickling Spice (buy here)
- Sea Salt
Recipe for Traditionally Fermented (Pickled) Asparagus
- 1 tbsp Organic Pickling Spice per jar
- 1 tbsp Grey Sea Salt per jar
- Filtered Water
- Fresh Asparagus Spears rinsed and patted dry
- Prepare the asparagus spears: Rinse and pat dry. Cut off the woody ends. You may need to cut them down more so that they will fit in the jars.
- Prepare the salt brine by mixing 2 TBSP of salt per 4 cups of water. Stir until dissolved.
- Assemble the jars: Pour 1/2 TBSP of pickling spice in the bottom of each jar. Place asparagus in jars.
- Pour the salt brine into the jars, making sure to submerse the asparagus as much as possible. Leave about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar.
- Place the seal on and screw the lid on securely. Don't make it too tight or the seal could warp.
- Place in a dark, dry cupboard for at least 4 days. DO NOT REFRIGERATE! Your asparagus will begin to bubble slightly and may smell slightly tangy. This is good. After 4 days you can start to taste it. When it reaches the tanginess you like, place the jar(s) in the fridge. The flavor will continue to develop for up to a month.