Putney Farm In Print And Pickled Asparagus

Pickled Asparagus.

Pickled Asparagus.

We try to avoid too many shameless plugs here at the farm, but often sometimes I can’t resist. For the last few months I’ve worked with Edible Silicon Valley magazine on both the print and online editions. I do most of the blogging, which I love (and you can check out here), but there is still something special about seeing your words in print. And our Spring edition just came out and I wrote a few of the articles and took a number of the photos (Carolyn will have some photos in the summer edition). If you want to explore the amazing new form of indoor, sustainable, organic farming created by Ecopia Farms, try this article. And if you want to learn about an entire town that truly embraced gardening and local produce, you may want to peek at this article.

ap1ap2But in the end of the day, we still like to cook, adapt and write recipes and take pictures. It’s kinda what we do here. Happily, we also got to do that for Edible Silicon Valley and this recipe for Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus (along with this quick pickle recipe) is in print for all to see. As gardeners we know it takes time for things to grow, but maybe a few articles in print will eventually lead to a cookbook. One can dream.

ap3As for the recipe, asparagus is in season here in Norcal and few things taste better than pickled asparagus.  Refrigerator pickles are a very easy way to keep the sweet, earthy flavor and crunch of the asparagus, but also add spice and acidity. And you don’t need a canning rig or anything complicated for refrigerator pickles. The only important tip here is to quickly blanch the asparagus so the pickling liquid can penetrate all the way through the stalks.

ap6ap4Otherwise, if you can boil some liquid and mix some spices, you can make refrigerator pickles with almost any veggie. The only bummer is that the pickles are best if you let them sit for at least a day (better at 2-3 days) in the fridge before you start snacking. We try to wait, but often fail. These asparagus pickles are hard to resist. Even the kids like them.

ap5Pickled Asparagus:

(From our recipe in Edible Silicon Valley)

Notes before you Start:

  • You can use store-bought pickling spice, but it is easy to make at home. See below for a recipe.
  • Blanching the asparagus before pickling is an extra step, but very much worth it, the flavor and texture will be much better.

What You Get: Very flavorful asparagus pickles. Yum.

What You Need: No special equipment required. Which is nice.

How Long? About 30 minutes to make the pickles, and then at least a day of waiting. Anytime dish.


(Makes 2 (24-ounce) or 4 (12-ounce) jars)

  • 3 pounds asparagus, washed and trimmed to fit your jars
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice (*To DIY, see recipe below.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed


  1. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus to the pot and cook for exactly 1 minute. Transfer asparagus to a colander and run under cold water until chilled.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon of pickling spice and 1 garlic clove in the bottom of each jar (split the spice and garlic cloves if using 4 jars). Divide asparagus evenly between the jars. Pour pickling liquid over asparagus. Seal jars and let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.
  4. Let the pickles rest in the fridge at least 24, and preferably 72, hours before eating. The pickles will keep for 2 weeks.


* Pickling Spice

(Makes 1 cup)


  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon ground mace
  • 1 small cinnamon stick, crushed into a few pieces
  • 12 large, or 18 medium, bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • ½ tablespoon ground ginger


  1. Place a small pan over low heat and toast peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds until just fragrant. Remove pan from heat and gently pour spices onto a cutting board. Lightly crush spices using a heavy pan, the side of a knife or a very quick spin in a spice grinder.
  2. Combine the cracked spices with the rest of the spices in a medium bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container.

42 thoughts on “Putney Farm In Print And Pickled Asparagus

  1. I love refrigerated pickles. These look great. I’ll be sure to check out the somewhat ironically named, “Edible Silicon Valley!” ha! Congrats!

  2. Congratulations on your work with one of the Edible magazines; that sounds so fun and rewarding!

    Pickled asparagus must taste amazing– I’ve never tried it. I’d worry the ends would be too tough, though; it must be important to use very slender ones, right? (And I’m sure the blanching step helps.)

    • Thanks. You can use slender to medium asparagus. Just trim the botom ends and the blanching and pickling will help. I have seen thick asparagus used, but more cooking is involved…

  3. i am curious to know how you got involved with writing for other blogs. my dream is to do this full time or at least supplement some income this way and i have no idea how to even begin. you’re awesome and congrats on all your success!!

    • Thanks. We just started blogging and then checking craigslist for local food, booze or garden related writing gigs (some paid, some free). One of our local newspapers with an active food blog gave us a shot and it went from there. Once a few recognized names publish your work, it gets easier. We pitch stories now and others also pick up stuff from our blog.

      Hope this helps.

      • that is great advice, thank you SO MUCH for taking time to respond and give such great info! i just emailed our local “edible” magazine… hopefully they’ll bite 😉

  4. One of our favorite restaurants to go to on vacation in Naples, FL serves pickled asparagus with their bloody marys. I always look forward to it! Now I can try making my own, thanks for the recipe!

  5. Putney Farm, you should promote all of your activities as much as possible. Congrats on your “extracurricular” activities (don’t know how you find time to do it!). We’ll read your blog entries in the meantime, but we’ll look to get a copy of the print issue.

    • Thanks! Hope you enjoy the “other” blogs. And we have a Silicon Valley cocktail article coming for summer…some good recipes and photos on the way.

    • Thanks. You will certainly pick up the ginger- but we like it, it pops a bit more. And we love digital, but a good cookbook or food mag is still a treat (and sometimes works better in teh kitchen).

  6. Never heard of pickle asparagus … but I just love the look about it. Truly like the idea of this.
    Great article … took me a while to find it .. clicked on every link here was. Congratulations to getting printed. You are a very good writer … so I’m not surprised – surprised that it hasn’t happen earlier maybe.

  7. Nothing like seeing your words on a printed page…! Congrats!!! PS, re: the asparagus. Do you recommend only the slim spears or can you do this with the thicker ones, trimmed perhaps?

  8. Very cool publication! I really like the look of it and I will definitely be checking it out, as well as share it with my SF family. I listen to KGO on my iPad every morning and like to stay in tune with what’s going on in that part of the state. I love asparagus, and who wouldn’t love this recipe!

  9. Pingback: Pickle Time | Prim and Primal

  10. I love pickled asparagus all year long – any advice on how to go ahead and can them? No blanching, water bath for 15 min?

  11. Pingback: 25 Ways to Asparagus + RECIPE: Chili-Roasted Asparagus & Pork Fajitas | The Leek & The Carrot

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