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Canning, Pickling and Freezing Asparagus

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Asparagus is easy to preserve by canning, pickling, or freezing it. For truly excellent results, start with fresh, in season, locally grown asparagus.

1. How to Can Asparagus

Leda Meredith

The advantage of canning rather than freezing asparagus (which preserves the texture better) is that you can store the sealed jars at room temperature. That means that if the power goes out you needn't worry about whether or not your preserved asparagus is still good.

Canned asparagus has a softer texture than freshly cooked does. It is excellent in pureed asparagus soup, or added to quiches or omelets.

2. Simple Pickled Asparagus Recipe

Asparagus pickles are easy to make and a delicious way to preserve this springtime vegetable when it is at its seasonal best and cheapest. Try using pickled asparagus spears instead of celery in bloody mary's, or serve them with sopressata or cheese.

3. Spicy Pickled Asparagus Recipe

As with the basic asparagus pickles, this spicy version is terrific served with cheese or charcuterie, or used to replace the celery stalks in bloody mary's. These are also delicious served alongside Middle Eastern-style recipes.

4. Quick Asparagus Refrigerator Pickles

These asparagus pickles have a much lighter flavor than canned asparagus pickles (which are much heavier on the vinegar). They are ready to eat in just a few days, but if you can manage to wait a week or two they will be even better.

5. How to Blanch and Freeze Asparagus

Leda Meredith

Freezing is the best way to preserve asparagus, much better than the mushy product produced by canning this choice vegetable.

For the best result, use locally grown asparagus when it is in season in your area. Out of season asparagus that has been imported from other countries tends to be less tender and have a bland flavor. Choose spears that are at least as thick as a pencil - thicker spears hold up better in the freezer.

You need to blanch asparagus before freezing it. This step prevents discoloration and preserves a better texture.

6. Jalapeno Asparagus Pickle Recipe

These asparagus pickles are flavored with jalapenos, garlic and dill. The recipe makes 5 pints.

7. All About Asparagus

Great information on how to select the best asparagus, as well as the best ways to store it (until you get around to making one of the recipes above!).

8. Kinds of Asparagus

Did you know that there are a number of different kinds of asparagus? All of them are the shoots of Asparagus officinalis, a perennial plant that, if allowed to mature, develops into fern-like fronds that grow as tall as six feet. Here is what you need to know about the four main varieties of asparagus.

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