My Mama’s World Famous Spicy Pickled Asparagus

My mom and step-dad where recently down on the farm visiting for a few days and while doing so, my mom and I managed to get in the kitchen and make a bunch of jars of her world famous spicy pickled asparagus. If you loved pickled anything then you need to try these!

I have fond memories of opening the refrigerator, grabbing a jar of the green goodness and biting into the spicy spear. Delicious!

Today, because I think everyone should have a jar of pickled asparagus in their refrigerator or pantry, I’m going to share her recipe with you!

Here is what you’ll need:

12 one-quart glass jars with lids

Fresh (organic if possible) asparagus (it depends on how many jars you want to determine how many pounds you need)

Salt (we used table salt)

Distilled water

Spices (we used the following: mustard seed, chili flakes, pickling spice) You can really use whatever you like.

Fresh dill

4 garlic bulbs

Dried red chiles

You will begin by making the brine. Using the ingredients below, in a big stew/soup pot, bring to a boil on the stove.

2 Qts white vinegar

2 Qts water

10 Tbs salt or 1/2 a cup

You will also need to sanitize the jars and lids by boiling them.

While you are getting your brine heated on the stove you can begin getting your asparagus cut to the right size. It’s really quite simple. Measure the asparagus against the jar you will be stuffing it with and then cut to the appropriate size.

You may have to cut it a couple times but it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Since we used two different sized jars, we had to cut two different size groups of asparagus.

Once the asparagus is cut you will need to blanch them. This will cook them slightly and retain the bright green color. Get all your spices together in separate bowls to make it a more efficient process.

Then, if you are using two sizes of jars, take whichever one you want to start with and get them lined up to fill with the spices, dill, garlic and chiles. Start to fill them each with about a 1/4 of a teaspoon of  each of the spices, 2-3 garlic cloves, 3 red chiles, and a couple sprigs of dill.

After you have done that, you will stuff the jars with the asparagus making sure they are pretty full. Once all the jars are full, take them over to the boiling brine and fill each to the top with the brine mixture.

When all the jars are filled with the brine, you will need to get your canning pot filled with water and get that boiling.  You may want to do that before you fill the jars with brine because it can take awhile to bring water to a boil.

Place as many jars of the same size as you can in the canning pot. You want to make sure the lids on the jars aren’t all the way tight. They will seal when they are in the boiling water. Cover the pot with it’s lid and let boil for 10 minutes. Once done, using oven mitts, use the metal wire rack in the pot to lift the jars out and set them on a towel to cool.

Continue this until all jars are sealed and then let them sit out until they have cooled completely.

These guys will be ready to eat the next day but for more flavor and more of a kick, wait a while to open them!

Cucumber, Red Onion, and Cabbage Salad

This dish is so refreshingly delightful I’ve made it the last two nights for dinner and again for lunch today.  What can I say, as D puts it, I tend to fixate on something and eat it for days. The great thing about this salad is it can either be a tasty side dish or, you can add rice or noodles and make it a main course. It’s easy to be versatile with it and for a linear thinker like me, it’s super easy to ‘think outside of the box’ on this one.

Warning: The dressing tends to pack a punch so if you don’t enjoy heat as much as I do (the more I sweat and am desperate for a glass of water the better!) you may need to alter the garlic and red pepper to your taste.

Cucumber, Red Onion, and Cabbage Salad

What you will need:

1 cucumber

1 small red onion

Half of a head of cabbage

A bunch of cilantro

Braggs Liquid Aminos (a soy sauce substitute for us gluten-intolerant folks)

White Wine Vinegar

Garlic and Chili sauce


How to make it:

Thinly slice the cucumber, red onion, and cabbage and put them all in a large bowl.

Chop up  a handful of cilantro and throw in the bowl with the other vegetables.

It will look something like this:

Then, mix together the remaining ingredients to make a spicy little dressing. There really isn’t a science to it, I typically just do it to taste.

Use these:

Once all ingredients are combined, transfer to smaller bowl and garnish with more chopped cilantro!