You know spring has sprung when asparagus starts poking its head out at farm stands and grocery stores.
Its vibrant green, purple, or white stalks catch your eye and promise a fresh, grass-like flavour and a superb crunch. But asparagus is not just a pretty face—it’s also a nutritional force to be reckoned with.
This slender stalk houses the prebiotic inulin, giving it street cred as the personal chef and nutritionist to our large intestine. Inulin’s claim to fame is that it travels undigested to the ol’ large intestine, avoiding any breakdown through the initial part of our digestive tract. Upon arrival, it becomes a buffet for certain types of beneficial bacteria, leading to better nutrient absorption and reduced risk of certain allergies and cancers
So if you’re feeling in a pickle about your snack routine, nosh on these.
- 1 lb asparagus, woody ends snapped off
- 3 dill sprigs
- 1 Thai bird chile
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 dried red chile peppers
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1. Place the asparagus, dill, and Thai bird chile in a 1-litre mason jar.
2. Meanwhile, place the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, dried chilies, garlic, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer long enough to dissolve the salt and sugar, stirring occasionally—about 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the stove and allow the brine to cool slightly. Pour it over the asparagus until all the spears are covered by the liquid.
4. Refrigerate for a few days to allow the flavours to really come together. You can check them after a day or two. Depending on how large your spears are and how briny you like the pickles, they may be ready sooner.
They’ll last for a week or two in the fridge.