Juliette Carr responds: Definitely wash and chop the burdock--don't peel it. You can grate it if you want but it will take...
Prosciutto-Wrapped Pickled Asparagus
- Ready in: 30 minutes prep
- Serves: 4
- Complexity: easy
This is the perfect make-ahead party food: Have your pickled asparagus spears on hand and it takes just minutes to wrap them, rewarding you with an elegant presentation and a salty, tangy take on the classic app.
© Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation by Leda Scheintaub, Rizzoli New York, 2014
- 16 spears Pickled Asparagus (recipe follows)
- 16 paper-thin slices prosciutto
- Freshly ground black pepper
- PICKLED ASPARAGUS (Makes 1 quart)
- 1 bunch thin asparagus spears
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons dill seeds
- About 2 cups Basic Salt Brine (see below)
- BASIC SALT BRINE (Makes 2 quarts)
- 2 quarts filtered water
- 5 to 6 tablespoons fine sea salt
Remove the asparagus from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Wrap each spear with a slice of prosciutto. Arrange decoratively on a platter, grind some pepper on top, and serve.
For the pickled asparagas: Trim the asparagus of its woody ends, then cut them into lengths that fit into a glass 1-quart jar, leaving 1 inch of space at the top. Lay the jar on its side and stuff the asparagus into the jar. If there’s room remaining, wedge in other vegetables such as carrot sticks or turnip slices so there’s a tight fit and you’ll have some bonus pickled vegetables when fermentation has been completed. Add the coriander and dill seeds. Pour enough brine over the asparagus to cover it, leaving at least 1 inch of space remaining at the top.
Cover the jar, shake it a few times to disperse the seeds, place it on a rimmed plate to catch any potential leakage or bubbling over when you open the lid, cover with a clean dish towel to keep out insects, and set aside in a cool place away from sunlight to ferment. After a few days check your asparagus, removing mold if any develops. Your asparagus will be ready in about 1 week, depending on the season and kitchen temperature and how tangy you like it. Cover and place in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about 3 months.
For the basic salt brine: In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of the water and the salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the salt is dissolved. Pour into a glass jar and add the remaining 6 cups water. Cover and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep indefinitely. Stay clear of table salt and tap water for your pickling brine, as the two can interfere with fermentation. Stick with pure sea salt and filtered water.