Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus

Asparagus refrigerator pickled recipe

​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Pickle : 168 hrs
Total: 168 hrs 21 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
39 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 39
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1209mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 287mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Delicious spring asparagus are a delight to eat in salads, risottos, or simply on their own when grilled and sprinkled with some sea salt. Whenever you have an abundance of asparagus, pickling them with a refrigeration process is an quick and easy manner of extending the shelf life of these delicious spears. Although the process of pickling in itself is short, the asparagus will be tastier if you wait at least three days, and even better if you can wait a week or two before eating.

Our simple recipe for refrigerator asparagus pickles has a much lighter flavor than canned asparagus pickles, is a wonderful addition to cheese platters or antipasti, and is a healthier alternative to chips when you're craving something salty and crunchy. Think asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and topped with a poached egg or a few spears as the side of a baked salmon fillet or a beef roast.

Optional ingredients include grape leaves, which provide tannins and enzymes that help keep the asparagus crisp, lemon slices that increase the acid level and make the jar more attractive, and dried chiles for a spicy kick. However, if you choose to leave these ingredients out, your asparagus will still be delicious and make a wonderful addition to your meals.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds asparagus spears

  • 1 pint water

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, or another non-iodized salt

  • 1 tablespoons sugar, or 2 teaspoons honey

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • Optional: 2 to 4 grape leaves

  • 2 dill flower heads, or 2 sprigs fresh dill leaves or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed

  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

  • Optional: 1 slice lemon

  • Optional: 1 small chile

Steps to Make It

Clean and Blanch the Asparagus

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for asparagus refrigerator pickled recipe

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  2. Wash the asparagus. Trim them by holding each spear near either end and bending it gently—it will snap exactly between the tougher bottom end and the tender tip end. Save the bottom ends for making asparagus soup or vegetable soup. The tender part of each spear is your asparagus for pickling. Set aside.

    Wash and trim

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

    Bring large pot of water to boil

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  4. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

    Prepare bowl of ice water

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  5. Once the pot of water is at a full rolling boil, drop in all of the asparagus spears and boil for only 15 seconds.

    Drop in asparagus spears

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  6. Drain the asparagus in a colander and immediately transfer it to the bowl of ice water. Drain after the asparagus have been submerged for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

    Drain the asparagus

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

Make the Brine

  1. Bring the pint of water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil, stirring once or twice to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the stove and allow to cool off.

    Cover

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

Prepare the Jars

  1. Place the garlic cloves and one of the grape leaves, if using, at the bottom of a clean glass quart jar or a couple of pint-sized jars. You do not need to use special canning jars and seals, and you don't need to sterilize the jars. Clean and dry jars will work perfectly.

    Garlic cloves

    ​The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh

  2. Place the jar on its side and start loading in the asparagus spears, adding the dill, mustard seeds, lemon slices, and small chile, if using, as you do so. Placing some spears upside down will allow you to pack more asparagus spears into the jar. Be sure to pack the spears in tightly so that they will not float up out of the brine.

    Put jar on its side

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 

  3. Pour the cooled brine into the jar making sure that the asparagus are completely covered by the liquid.

    Put in jar

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 

  4. Secure the lid and place the jar in the refrigerator. The tips of the asparagus spears may take on a pink hue because of the vinegar—this is completely safe to eat.

    Secure the lid

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 

  5. The pickles will be ready to eat in three days, but one or two weeks makes them much better. Keep in the refrigerator for three to four months, although there will be some texture loss after a few weeks.

    Asparagus served

    The Spruce / Anfisa Strizh 

  6. Enjoy!

Tip

  • The relatively low ratio of vinegar to water in this recipe is part of what gives these pickles their bright, not overly pungent taste. Keep in mind, though, that this is less vinegar than you would need to make canned pickles for safely storing at room temperature. Keep these in the fridge.