My buddy just let me know he gets boat loads of Asparagus whe they are in season. I am wondering what is the best way to take advantage of this bounty that he is willing to share with me? How can I store this treasure so as to be able to eat (and save money not buying so much) all year? . Jarring comes to mind. Is this the best method? Do you have a recipe you use?
I prefer all vegetables frozen as opposed to canned. Canned is just too 'baby food mushy' to me, whereas the colour and flavour is retained better in fresh frozen veggies.
Sure, they aren't as awesome as fresh would be, but it is nice to have them for variety off season.
I think canning probably would be best. You could try blanching and freeze too. Either way, you'll lose some of the color and freshness, and some of the nutrients in the water too. I've never canned it, but I have fresh-frozen and blanched and frozen. Either way, not as good as fresh. Wasn't worth it, imo. Instead I made an asparagus puree with chicken stock in the blender, froze that, and used it in soups and sauces.
You'll need a pressure canner to safely can asparagus. Just clean and throw in jars, add hot water (and canning salt, optional), and refer to your pressure canner's instructions on how long and at what pressure to can.
I think pickled asparagus is insanely delicious. This recipe has a spicy kick:
*10 lbs asparagus
*6 large garlic cloves (peeled)
*4 1/2 cups water
*4 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
*6 small jalapenos
*1/2 cup canning salt (no iodine)
*3 tsp dill seed
Wash and trim asparagus to fit in canning jar with 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar. Pack jars with asparagus and garlic cloves. Combine water, vinegar, peppers, salt, and dill seeds in a pot. Bring to a boil. Pour hot brine into the jars. Put the jars in the fridge and soak for at least two weeks.