Asparagus are delicious no matter how they are prepared, but this pickling recipe takes enjoying these spring veggies to the next level.
- 4 pounds fresh asparagus
- 2-4 grape leaves (available in jars in the Grocery Dept.)
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 knobs of ginger, roughly chopped (about 1-2 inches)
- 1-2 knobs of turmeric, roughly chopped (about 1-2 inches)
- 1 bunch tarragon
- ½ teaspoon summer savory*
- 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds*
- 2 Tablespoons coriander seeds*
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns*
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds*
- 3-5 garlic cloves or 2 Tablespoons garlic flakes*
- 2 Tablespoons unrefined sea salt* (we used Pacific Flake, the only local sea salt)
- 1 gallon filtered water, plus more to top off jar as needed
- 2 Tablespoons plain, dairy-based yogurt whey**
Rinse and dry asparagus and trim ends. (You will want spears to be an inch shorter than jar.)
Pack grape leaves in bottom of jar. Add onion, ginger and turmeric.
Pack asparagus into jar, heads at the top, by lying jar on its side, stacking asparagus with a sprig of tarragon every few spears, until all are lying in jar.
Add summer savory, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds and garlic.
In a large pitcher, mix sea salt into filtered water. Add yogurt whey and mix again.
Pour salt water over asparagus until everything is well submerged.
Screw lid on very loosely and store in a cool, dry place, checking daily to make sure spears remain under water. Add more filtered water as needed.
After five days have passed, you can taste your spears, or keep them fermenting up to 14 days before moving the jar to the fridge where the asparagus will keep for up to three months.
*Available in the Bulk Dept. in both stores!
**Yogurt whey is the liquid that forms on top of yogurt. One quart of plain,
dairy-based yogurt can usually yield 2 Tablespoons of whey. You can also strain yogurt in a cheese cloth to separate the whey.