So, here I am in Arkansas, trying to use more local ingredients. Of course, it’s only February, so it isn’t exactly harvest. I had the good fortune of finding okra the other week. This week I had no such luck. *Sigh*
I wandered through the produce section wondering what I could do to replace okra in a quick pickling recipe. I wasn’t even sure how well okra would take to pickling, but I wanted to try. Thus, I took a few laps, looking at all of my options, until I arrived at a bin of asparagus. I love asparagus. My husband loves asparagus. I had my pickling ingredient.
Since I already have a quick pickled zucchini recipe, this recipe needed to be different. As the first recipe was fairly simple, it was easy to tweak. Of course, I’m working out of an AirBnB kitchen, and not my own, which limits some of the options I’d usually explore. There’s really no need to buy a ton of spices when I’ll be leaving here in the next week or two. So, how to make it different?
I went with a very simple option: make it spicy. I went with lightly spicy, in order to please my palate. For those with a better tolerance for heat, you absolutely can increase the amount of jalapeno you add.
I made this recipe as part of a tapas dinner menu. Its companions were brussels sprouts sauteed with sausage and brie cups topped with bacon jam. This asparagus provided a nice bit of tang and offered balance to the heavier brie dish. The batch made more than enough for that meal, so it’s been a nice snack hanging out in the fridge.
Although it’s February and you may not be thinking about a chilled dish, I’d suggest you reconsider. With the sadder state of fresh produce this time of year, a little pickling may be exactly what you need. Give these a try, and see what you think!
Quick & Spicy Pickled
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1-1/4 cups white vinegar
- 1 Tb. salt
- 2-1/2 Tb. sugar
- 1 lb. aspargus
- 1 jalapeno
Combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small stockpot.
Bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate the sugar and salt.
While mixture is heating, break the woody ends off the asparagus.
Place asparagus in a loaf pan or other small pan.
Cut jalapeno into rings, and place in pan.*
Once vinegar mixture boils, pour over asparagus.
Cover with foil, and let sit on counter for 30 minutes.
Transfer to refrigerate, and allow to chill for at least 24 hours.