Aside from consumers purchasing locally produced value-added products, we can consciously also choose to value-add our own ‘ugly fruit & veg’ fresh food purchasing with simple and quick preserving techniques. Along with beautiful Spring asparagus, this is a great pickling solution I use for preserving a variety of vegetables providing a delicious crunchy healthy inclusion on those summer platters ahead when the year tips towards to Christmas and summer parties.
450 ml local apple cider vinegar
200 ml water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp fennel seeds
5 sprigs of fresh dill
3 garlic cloves, sliced
½ tsp red chilli flakes
½ kg fresh asparagus, ends peeled
- For the pickling solution, combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar and fennel seeds in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Place the dill, garlic, chilli flakes and asparagus spears in sterilized, glass jars. You may need to cut the asparagus to fit.
- Carefully fill the jars with the brine to within 1 cm of the top of the rim, covering the asparagus completely. Discard any leftover brine. Place lids on the jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
- Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.