I’m allergic to asparagus. Which is probably only half the reason I like it so much. The other half is surely the part where it ripens so early in the spring. Because as much as I’m a rebel, I’m also a sucker for any sign of warmth after our long, dark winters.
In our neck of the woods asparagus’s early arrival is rivaled only by chives and rhubarb, neither of which can really compete when paired with a good pork chop on the grill and so, as the days lengthen and the weather warms, asparagus becomes a staple in our diets despite my body’s apparent dislike of it. (Nothing really happens to me so far as I can tell, the allergy was discovered on a full allergy panel that was done in my teens for unrelated issues.)
One thing I’ve never really cared for when it comes to asparagus however, is its resistance to preservation. Sure, you can can asparagus. Tons of pantries boast lines of mason jars filled with the stuff in its pickled form. You can even can plain asparagus if you’re so inclined. Personally, I’ve never been much a fan of the finished product on the latter of those options. And let’s be honest here, one can only eat (and put by) so many pickles. By the time I’m done with the cucumber varieties I’m just not often in the mood for anything more.
Enter: Marinated Asparagus. A twist between to-die-for antipasto artichoke hearts and refrigerator pickles, but with the best of early spring’s bounty.
You could use these in an antipasto salad, serve them solo, as an appetizer, or part of a meal. I’ve got a bacon-spiked hors d’oeuvres recipe planned for next week with them, but for now, let’s just marinate the asparagus, shall we?
- 1 lb Fresh Asparagus, woody stems trimmed
- 1 cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1 cup Water
- 4 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ ounce Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped course
- ½ tsp Chili Flakes
- ½ tsp Peppercorns
- ¾ tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Grill asparagus, cooking over medium heat until the stalks begin to sweat and go slightly limp.
- Meanwhile, combine white wine vinegar, water, and olive oil and set aside.
- Line the bottom of a clean mason jar with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, chili flakes, peppercorns and sea salt.
- Once asparagus stalks are cooked, remove from grill, allow to cool, and chop into bite-sized segments. Add to jar.
- Pour vinegar mixture over stalks. Top with bay leaves. Allow to marinate at least 24 hours. Invert occasionally to help combine.