Asparagus Two Ways

Pickle your springtime spears or shave them raw into a lemony salad.
Shaved raw asparagus makes a light salad with lots of flavor and crunch.

lemony asparagus salad

Shaved raw asparagus makes a light salad with lots of flavor and crunch.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Shaved raw asparagus makes a light salad with lots of flavor and crunch.

Asparagus is known to play hard-to-get, often taking a few seasons before those tender shoots break through the soil in the spring. But once they do, this rare perennial in the vegetable world has been known to produce for decades.  

How you treat it in the kitchen is just as important as all the love, care, sun and water you gave it outside. Here are two recipes to try this spring when those slender stalks make their appearance.

Lemony Asparagus Salad

"This elegant, no-cook asparagus dish features raw asparagus shaved into thin ribbons and tossed in a sweet-tangy dressing," says Heather Olsen, healthy eating and green mission specialist from Whole Foods Market in Jacksonville, Florida. "The three-ingredient dressing is fantastic paired with any salad recipe, and the fresh herbs provide brightness and micronutrients galore!"

Serves 6

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

In a large bowl, whisk together shallots, lemon juice, mustard and honey. Trim root ends of asparagus and discard. Cut asparagus tips off spears and add to the bowl with shallot mixture. With a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus spears into thin ribbons, adding shallot mixture as you go.

Add mint and parsley and toss salad until combined.

Pickled Asparagus

At Miller Union in Atlanta, Georgia, chef Steven Satterfield "puts up" his asparagus with a spicy mix of chile de arbol, allspice berries and brown mustard seeds.

Yields one quart

  • 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 dried chile de arbol
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon anise or fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups Champagne vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Prepare a one-quart jar for canning by sterilizing the jar and lid in a hot water bath. Keep hot.

Place shallots, dried chiles, black peppercorns, allspice berries, anise or fennel seeds and mustard seeds into the sterilized jar. Gently add the asparagus into the jar and fill it until they are tightly packed, taking care not to damage the spears.

To create the brine, combine the white vinegar, Champagne vinegar, water, kosher salt and granulated sugar together in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling hot brine into the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top of the jar to create a vacuum. Wipe the mouth of the jar off if any brine splashed onto it during filling, and place the seal on top. Screw on band until finger tight and then turn the jar upside down for five minutes, while still hot. Return right side up and allow to cool until seal is formed. 

Allow to sit for at least one week or more before serving. Refrigerate after opening.

Next Up

How to Can Spaghetti Sauce

Learn how to can homemade spaghetti sauce that will allow you to savor ripe summer tomatoes all year long.

How to Grow Asparagus

Learn what's needed to grow asparagus from planting seeds and crowns and get advice on harvesting asparagus.

Freezing Cherry Tomatoes

Keep fresh cherry tomato flavor on your meal-time menu well beyond the garden season by preserving excess fruits in the freezer.

How to Freeze Okra

Okra is a Southern favorite, thanks to its heat-loving disposition. Stock up on okra in season and freeze it for later use.

How to Freeze Tomatoes From Your Garden

Extend your garden harvest by putting your tomatoes in the deep freeze.

Freezing Cabbage

Scratch store-bought cabbage off your grocery list—and fill your freezer with homegrown cabbage instead.

Canning Peppers DIY

It's easy to pack a pint of pickled peppers.

How to Can Tomatoes

Canning tomatoes is an easy way to preserve the season's harvest so you'll have fresh tomatoes all year long. Learn how to can tomatoes with these simple steps for the water bath canning method.

Planting and Growing Spinach

Spinach is a fast-growing, cool-season vegetable that can be harvested in as little as a month after you plant it. Here's what you need to know to grow a bountiful crop.

How to Freeze Corn on the Cob

Whether you're freezing your garden crop or just want to preserve the bounty from the farmers' market, this easy step-by-step guide will give you the tips you need to freeze corn on the cob.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


Home Town

11am | 10c

Home Town

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Vacation House Rules

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Lakefront Bargain Hunt

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

12:59am | 11:59c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

1:59am | 12:59c

Vacation House Rules

2:59am | 1:59c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.