Garlic and Pepper Asparagus Pickles

by Michelle K.   April-17-2012

A highly customizable pickle that you can tailor to your favorite pickle flavors.


  • 2 1/2 lbs asparagus
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 2 Tbs kosher salt
  • dried De Arbol chilis, stems removed
  • garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tsp pickling spice


  1. Prepare your pint jars (I prefer wide mouth for making pickles, they pack more easily), lids, rings and canner. If you do not know how to do these things, always use a reliable and official source to guide you through this process. The National Center for Home Food Preservation and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving are good places to start.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil. While it is coming up to temperature trim your asparagus to length. I measure one by lying it alongside a jar and cut it, then cut the rest. Save your trimmings in the freezer for your next batch of stock.
  3. Prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to hold the asparagus. Add the asparagus to your smaller pot of boiling water (not the canner) and blanch for 1 -2 minutes. If your asparagus is very thin, less time, very thick (which is what I used in the pictures above) longer time. As soon as time is up remove the asparagus from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and dunk it in the ice bath. Remove it from the ice bath after a minute and set aside.
  4. Dump out the hot asparagus blanching water and then in the same pot add the vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a full boil. While this is coming up to temperature measure out the pickling salt, one clove of garlic slices, and one chili pepper into the bottom of each jar.
  5. Fill the jar with the asparagus spears, packing snugly. If you need to trim the end off a spear or two to maintain your 1/2 inch headspace, be sure to do so.
  6. Pour the hot bring over the spears leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove all bubbles from the jar by carefully sliding a thin spatula or chopstick or skewer along the sides of the jar. Adjust the headspace by adding more brine as needed.
  7. Clean the rim of the jar very thoroughly, apply your hot lid, and then the ring. You want to tighten your ring just until it is "finger tip tight", not too tight, but not loose either.
  8. Process your jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (10 minutes is measured after the water returns to a full boil). Adjust your processing time as necessary depending on your elevation. Again, consult a very reliable source for instructions on how to do this.
  9. Remove your jars from the water bath to a cloth covered counter. Let them cool completely for 12-24 hours before testing the seals. Remove the outer ring and pick up the jar carefully by the lid to make sure the seal is a good one. If you do have a jar that did not seal, just put it in the refrigerator and eat the pickled asparagus, they will keep for a couple of months.
  10. Store your jars in a cool dark place.  These should be ready to eat in about 3 weeks.


Prep time: 25 minsCook time: 15 minsTotal time: 35 minsYield: 3 12 oz jars