Giardiniera is the Italian word for pickled vegetables in vinegar. It is served as an antipasto or as a condiment on salads and sandwiches. It can be made with a variety of vegetables and be made spicy or not. It adds pizazz to almost anything and lasts for weeks in the fridge.
There are lots of recipes for this Italian delicacy, all with slight variations on proportions of vinegar to water and the addition of oil or not as well as the instruction on the relatively simple process of pickling itself. I’ve reviewed many and certainly there is lots of choices as to what vegetables to pickle in the first place, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference and experimentation.
Since I always opt for simplicity as long as it doesn’t compromise taste, I’ve decided on an even ratio of vinegar to water as well as a coating of olive oil. I was very pleased with the results.
1 small head of cauliflower – cut into bite sized pieces
2 carrots – cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds or ribbons
1 large red bell pepper – ribs removed and cut into strips (whatever size you prefer)
1 english cucumber (or whichever you prefer) cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds or slices
3 jalapeno peppers – cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
3 cups white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
3 or 4 cloves fresh garlic – smashed
Several sprigs of fresh herbs – dill, oregano + fresh chopped parsley
Add liquids (except oil) and salt to a saucepan. Bring to boil, add vegetables and simmer until softened but still crisp (about 5 minutes). Place contents of saucepan in a bowl, cool, cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least for a few hours).
The next day drain and reserved the liquid. Taste the vegetables and adjust seasoning if needed. Toss them in the oil, add the chopped parley and store in ball jars or other container and cover to the top of the vegetables with the water/vinegar mixture.