Our friend Paul Grimes (food stylist for Gourmet, The New York TImes, & 100s of cookbooks) came to visit us at the school this week and taught two Asparagus classes using the asparagus we've grown in our kitchen garden and some more from our friend Paul Steinbeiser. The classes were a blast and one of the favorite recipes was this simple pickled asparagus. We can't wait for Paul to come back to teach us some more.
2 lb asparagus, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 ¼ cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp fennel seed, toasted and coarsely crushed
1 tsp coriander seed, toasted and coarsely crushed
2 fresh bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 strips orange zest (1 by 3-inch)
¼ tsp black peppercorns
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
4 whole cloves
Put all ingredients except asparagus in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit 30 minutes.
Transfer asparagus to an 8-by 8-baking dish. Reheat vinegar and pour over asparagus. Let sit about 1 hour.