Thanks to a spectacular sale on asparagus, I pulled out my canning equipment. It was pickling time.
Last year I made a small batch of dill pickled asparagus.
I don’t really care for dill pickles, but I liked these – the dill taste didn’t completely overwhelm the asparagus. So those were in the line up again, as were some sweet ones.
The sale led me to pick up six pounds for the pickling efforts.
As the canner heated up and the dishwasher sterilized my jars, I started prepping the veggies. Off went the woody ends, which ultimately ended up in the compost bin. I then cut the stalks to fit in the jars. Meanwhile I had sweet and dill pickling solutions on the stove ready when I needed them.
Trimming to size meant lots of different shaped middle bits were left over. I wasn’t going to let any of the yumminess go to waste, so the trimmings were saved for later.
(The bag is the stems for compost; the red colander holds the tips for the jars; and the glass bowl was all my trimmings.)
By the time I had done all the trimming and stuffing, I ended up with six jars’ worth. I must admit that I was discouraged that it only produced six jars, but then again, they are 12 ounce jars – so only four ounces lost per pound. Even at the time I knew something was wrong with that make-me-feel-better math.
Right after the jars went in for processing, I jumped on the computer and asked The Googles for asparagus recipes. The Santa Ana we were experiencing was about to break, so the call of Cream of Asparagus soup was strong. It is a simple recipe that didn’t involve too much hands on time. Best yet, it was suited for a big bowl of oddly sized asparagus stems.
(The red is smoked paprika. Holy cow that stuff is good!)
I’m not big on completely smooth soups, so I left mine a little chunky, and boy was it good. Definitely the perfect complement to my canning efforts.
How would you have used a ton of asparagus stalk bits? or Pickles: sweet or dill?