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Quick Asparagus Refrigerator Pickles

Quick Asparagus Refrigerator Pickles

I love to can and pickle but I am one of those small batch people, even better if I can get them quickly. Instead of the whole set-up with boiling jars and canning apparatus, refrigerator pickles require just a boiling of the brine and a short waiting period. The downside is unlike canned pickles, they won’t store indefinitely and you don’t get that same nutritious ferment, but on the plus side, you can use this formula to pickle almost any veggies you like, from peppers and carrots to beets and radishes, and get them in a fraction of the time with minimal effort. Refrigerator pickles are perfect for any firm veggies, especially those that are at their ripeness peak so they retain their crunchy snap, and can be done with very little effort. With asparagus on the market – yay, it’s finally Spring here! – I couldn’t wait to make some pickles. Feel free to scale up or down as you prefer.

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Quick Asparagus Refrigerator Pickles

2 wide-mouth, quart-size sterilized canning jars, rings and lids
2 bunches asparagus,
tough ends trimmed and short enough that they can stand upright in the jar with the lid on
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons peppercorns
(mixed colors looks nice)
2 tablespoons dried dill
1 tablespoon mustard seed
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
(optional: I did not use this but good for those who like a sweeter pickle)

Stand your asparagus upright in the two jars. Split the garlic, peppercorns, dill, and mustard seed between the two jars.

In a medium pot, bring the vinegar, water, salt and optional sugar to a boil, making sure the salt and sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot brine into the jars; a funnel can be safest if you have one. Tap gently to remove any air pockets, top off with any remaining brine, and tightly seal with the lids and rings. Let the jars cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 24 – 48 hours, the longer, the better flavor. Thicker asparagus stalks will especially benefit from longer pickling. With a tight seal, these should last 3 – 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

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