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.