When asparagus is in season, pickling is the best way to extend it throughout the year. Delicate spears enhanced with garlic and dill will remain flavorful and crisp. Recipe excerpted from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving, published by Oxmoor House (2016)
You will need
5 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 qt. water
2⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup Ball® Salt for Pickling & preserving
4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
2 tsp. pickling spice
7 lb. fresh asparagus
12 dill sprigs
6 garlic cloves, crushed
Ball® Pickle Crisp (optional)
Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a 3-qt. stainless steel or enameled saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve.
Rinse asparagus. Cut spears into 5-inch lengths to fit jars, discarding tough ends. Place 2 dill sprigs and 1 garlic clove into a hot jar. Tightly pack asparagus, cut ends down, in jar, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. Add 1⁄8 tsp. pickle crisp to jar, if desired. Ladle hot pickling liquid over asparagus, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool