Juxtaposing grilled and pickled asparagus highlights two sides of this wonderful spring vegetable. On the grill, the asparagus is smoky and meaty. In vinegar, it’s grassy and green with just enough tartness to counter the richness of a slice pf prosciutto. If you topped this with a fried or poached egg, it would make a tasty savory brunch dish.
This recipe is adapted from “The Preservation Kitchen” by Paul Virant.
Grilled and Pickled Asparagus with Prosciutto
- 6 spears pickled asparagus – commercial or home made (recipe below), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons pickled asparagus pickling liquid
- 1/4 cup of sliced spring onions, or finely minced shallots, or red onion
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- Either 1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 4 generous slices prosciutto
- 1 cup of loosely packed and chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives and tarragon (optional)
- Prepare a fire in your grill, preheat a stove top grill pan, or preheat you oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a small bowl stir together the pickled asparagus, pickling liquid, onion, and mustard. Whisk in the olive oil or sour cream, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- Rub the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill or roast the asparagus until it is charred at the tips, about 10 minutes.
- Spread the slices of prosciutto on either individual plates or a platter.
- Arrange the warm asparagus on the prosciutto and top with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle the herbs on top.
- Serve each person a slice of proscuitto, some asparagus and sauce.
Substituting sour cream for olive oil also makes a delicious variation.
Pickled Asparagus – makes 4 quarts
- 6 1/2 cups champagne vinegar
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of cumin seeds
- 8 sprigs of tarragon or fennel or dill
- 4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
- 16 cups of asparagus, trimmed
- In a pot, bring the vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil. Keep hot. In a dry skillet toast the cumin seeds until fragrant, about a min.
- Scald 4 quart jars in a large pot of simmering water fitted with a rack for processing the jars. Right before filling, put the jars on the counter. In each jar, place a teaspoon of cumin seeds, 2 sprigs of thyme, and 2 garlic clove halves. Meanwhile, soak the lids in a pan of hot water.
- In a large pot of boiling and salted water, blanch the asparagus for 1 minute. Drain the asparagus and pack the stalks into the jars, tips up.
- Pour the hot brine over the asparagus, leaving about a 1-inch space from the rim. Check for air pockets and add more brine if necessary. Seal with the lids and screw on the bands.
- Place the jars in the pot with the rack and add enough hot water to cover by at least an inch. Bring the water to a boil and process for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water to a dish cloth on the counter and cool completely.
Please consult a canning book for more details.
I am taking this to Fiesta Friday to party with Angie and friends.
Gorgeous dish Liz! I love asparagus this time of year!
Me too! I try to eat seasonally so it is so delicous as one of the first vegtables of spring. Asparagus and strawberries.
Two of my favorites!
Deserves a double-like for asparagus and prosciutto…. 🙂
Add a poached or fried egg and you have a complete meal.
I’m so hoping to create an asparagus garden once we settle into a new place. Very pretty dish. Definitely going to remember this! I haven’t pickled asparagus before but I love grilling it.
Hi Sheri, that’s a geat idea since it takes three years before you can pick any. In the past I have definitely waited to long to get around to planting it.
I kept putting it off here, not being able to choose a spot! I thought I’d start with crowns when I do find a spot though, speed the process a little. Have you tried that?
Yes, I started with crowns about 10 years ago now. They are in one of my raised beds, which I’m not sure I would do again. They take up too much of my garden space. Since I garden on land that is “on loan”, I wanted to be able to pull them up and replant somewhere else. You probably won’t have that problem.
I’d recommend you find an out of the way sunny patch to plant them. And good soil is very important to keep them going. I’m not harvesting much this year, I think partially because I cut way back on watering last summer.
It’s nice to think asparagus season is just around the corner. We have a big patch of it in our garden we started when we moved in, including a purple variety. Great recipe for featuring it. Thanks for sharing.
How many years has it been going? I also have the purple variety, it seems to do better than the green. Over the last 10 years my patch has self sowed itself into other areas of the garden.