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Lemon and Oil -Preserved Asparagus


Asparagus is a low-acid food and therefore needs special care when preserving. This oil-preserved asparagus requires to be briefly pickled before the oil bath to insure no bacteria is introduced. The final product is stored in the fridge and will last about 3 months. To eat, simply strain from the oil (reserve the infused oil for sautés or salads) and use the spears in salads, soups or as a light snack.

4 pint jars
5 pounds asparagus, woody bits trimmed
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 ½ cups white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
4 wide strips lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups olive oil


  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add 4 pint jars and let sit for 10 minutes to sterilize. Using tongs, remove jars from water and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Trim the asparagus to 4-inches long, which should be 1-inch below the gap for headspace. Rinse the trimmed spears and set aside in a shallow baking dish with the garlic.
  3. Add the vinegar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour over asparagus spears and garlic, letting them marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. While the asparagus is brining, add to each pint jar, equal parts salt and peppercorn, 2 ounces of lemon juice and 1 strip of lemon zest. Set aside.
  5. After 10 minutes, drain the vinegar and pack the pickled spears tightly into the jars. Add ½ garlic cloves to each jar. Press asparagus together as firmly as possible and pack the jar completely.
  6. Pour the olive oil over the asparagus, tapping the jar lightly on the countertop to release any bubbles. Cover the asparagus by ½-inch, creating an olive oil seal, and leaving about ½-inch of headspace. Place in the fridge to macerate for at least two weeks before eating.