In my opinion, nothing means spring more than asparagus. It's the first thing to pop out of the ground for us to eat, because we don't have a greenhouse (yet!), and we are eating it like crazy right now.
I'm a huge fan of refrigerator pickles. They are super easy to make, taste delicious and in my experience are more crispy than ones I have canned. Plus, you can make them in super small batches. Easy peasy.
When I was trying to think of something different to do with some asparagus today I figured pickled ones would fit the bill. Anything pickled reminds me of summer and today was gorgeous and summery. A perfect combination.
Yields 1 quart.
1 bunch asparagus, enough to fill a 1-quart jar
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sea salt
*Trim asparagus to fit jar, leaving 1/2 in headspace.
*Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 30 seconds (this will help with flavor).
*Pack into a wide mouth quart jar. You don't want to damage the asparagus, but pack tightly.
*Add garlic, peppercorns and dill seed.
*Bring water, vinegar and salt to a simmer in a saucepan.
*Pour over packed asparagus, just covering asparagus.
*Lightly tap jar on the counter to release the air bubble. Place a lid on the jar. Leave at room temperature until cool, then place in the fridge for 48 hours before eating.
*May be kept up to 1 month in the back of the fridge.