We all need to be more mindful of where our food is coming from – and what goes into it. A large part of that is trying to eat seasonally, but also using traditional techniques to preserve food and minimise waste. I love freshly picked asparagus, but I also love being able to enjoy asparagus all year round. Making your own homemade pickled asparagus is really easy and the result is far superior to the tinned version you find in every supermarket around the world.
Lacto-fermented asparagus sounds complicated, but it’s not. In fact, it’s harder to say than it is to actually do. In essence, you put asparagus in a jar and add water and salt. The magic is in knowing just how much salt to add – which is determined by measuring how much asparagus and water you have added.
Sea salt or Himalayan salt
Sterilised preserving jars to fit asparagus
The amount of salt needed depends on the quantity of asparagus.
Place the empty jar on the scales, tare the scales to zero (this will mean the scales don’t add the weight of the jar to your equation).
Take note of the total weight.
Calculate 3% of the total weight of asparagus and water, add this amount of salt to a bowl and pour the water from the jar into the bowl to make a brine, stir to dissolve the salt and pour back into the jar.
Fill the jar with asparagus spears, tough ends removed and top with cold water.
Keep the asparagus submerged in the brine with a preserving weight or a sterilised heavy object wedged in the neck of the jar. Seal the jar, but not so tightly the gases can’t escape.
Ferment the asparagus spears in a warm place for a few weeks.
Once the asparagus is pickled to your taste, leave in the brining liquid in a sealed jar in the fridge, they will keep for a few months.
Cooks Tips: if making asparagus rolls you could spread the bread with Cashew and Tofu Cream Cheese
Instead of discarding the asparagus stem ends, save them and make an Asparagus Pesto
This technique works well for making Pickled Carrots or experiment with another vegetable.