This condiment offers spring in a mouthful and is awesome – but there’s a price to be paid. But that should be fairly obvious – after all, you’re making relish with a knife.
Are there ways to avoid the finicky work? You could use a food processor (use small amounts cut to the same size before processing) or a vitamix (but they’re a lot of moolah). Some careful knife work will yield quick results but if I really had to cheat, I’d use a mandoline to cut small discs of asparagus and feed them into my blender.
To chop asparagus by hand (it’s really not THAT bad), start by using caution, then:
- Cut (or break) off the woody end of the plant.
- Hold by the tip (you don’t need to cut it and can reserve the tips for separate cooking) and cut the base lengthwise.
- A quick cut at the base of the tip should result in two long pieces of asparagus – both with a flat bottom.
- Lie each piece on its flat side and carefully cut into thin strips (as tiny as possible). I generally get 3-4 strips out of each average sized half.
- Continue to process all the strips until complete.
- Line up the strips and mince into fine pieces.
That’s the basis of processing asparagus. You can use the same technique for green onions, celery and even carrots (but be careful as they are harder and easier to slip on).
Asparagus relish has all sorts of uses – the flavors are bright and acidic and there’s a lot of crunch (you’re using raw asparagus after all) and it can be used anywhere you use ‘regular’ relish or for mild dishes needing an accent, like scallop ceviche (strain it and dump it in at the last minute).
- 0.25-0.5 pounds uncooked asparagus; cleaned and diced into relish bits (per above)
- 1 stalk clean celery diced into relish bits (per above)
- 3 bulbs of green onions
- As much fresh dill as you can take
- Pinch of salt
- White vinegar (amount described below – but it’s 0.25-0.75 cups)
- Combine all ingredients and cover with enough vinegar to submerge most of your vegetables.
- Cover and let sit in the fridge for 15-45 minutes
- Slightly strain (or serve with a slotted spoon) before serving.
This will keep in the fridge for some time but will become more and more acidic (which you may like) the longer it sits.