That damn asparagus

There are those recipes that look seriously odd on paper, but knock your socks off when you try them out (remind me to blog one day about the fig, tomato, caramelized onion jam), and then there are the recipes that look amazing on paper and end up being just a bit ho-hum.

Pickled asparagus, I am sad to say, is one of those somewhat ho-hum ones. It was a New York Times recipe, when the New York Times decided to jump onto the canning bandwagon this summer, and it was my first attempt at pickling rather than jamming. I thought it would be a fun way to keep that glorious asparagus taste going on throughout the year.

Well maybe, if you like vinegar.

First off the color is a little iffy, a sort of yellowed green, like the paint on the walls of a dismal 1970s hospital. And fresh from the jar the taste is only a notch or two above OK, with barely a hint of that subtle asparagus sensation. I’ll upgrade that to ‘almost good’ with the addition of lashings of fresh-ground pepper and a generous dash of olive oil. But I wanted knock-your-socks-off delicious, and that wasn’t the case. The spouse was much kinder about it than I was — obediently following NYT guidelines, we served it with boiled potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. But then he added more olive oil and pepper than I did. You can’t go wrong with olive oil and fresh-ground black pepper.

Pickled asparagus

Rating: 2-1/2 stars (out of 5), including half a star for pure novelty value



  1. alliumstozinnias said

    It reminds me of a can of East German green beans way back when.

  2. Tastes better than that, honest. Those wouldn’t even get half a star.

  3. Claire said

    Is that a Bittman recipe? Yum.

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