Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giardiniera


Ever since I experimented with making my own Dill Pickles, I have been thinking about trying to do the same with vegetables & make Giardiniera. The Giardiniera I am making here is the Italian version, pronounced {jar din nair ah} & is more of an antipasto...with larger pieces of vegetables...which work great as a salad ingredient. In Chicago, there's another type of Giardiniera, which is more of a relish. It has smaller diced vegetables & is served as more of a condiment. It's also typically made spicy with the addition of hot peppers.
Italian Giardiniera can also be made hot & spicy. I wanted to make a more family-friendly version here, as I know my kids will love this {they are huge pickles freaks!}. I did add in some red pepper flakes, just for a bit of heat. If you want more heat, you can certainly slice up some jalapenos, or serrano chiles & throw them in.
As far as what vegetables to use, it's really up to you. Use what you like. This recipe is really just a loose guide & you can certainly get as creative as you'd like. Some things I would have added, if I had them on hand, would be...some fennel, eggplant, pearl onions, or celery. I also happened to have some jicama in the fridge the day I made this...so, I added it. Not at all traditional, but so what? I happen to love pickled jicama.

Begin by preparing the vegetables. Remove the florets from one head of cauliflower {I used a green cauliflower, or broccoflower}. If the florets are large, cut them down into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
Next, you will need 1 yellow & 1 red bell pepper.

Seed the peppers & slice them into large chunks...again, think bite-sized. Place them in a mixing bowl & add the cauliflower too.

Next up...carrots. I love tender, young carrots that come in bunches, with the greens still attached...especially when using them in a raw application...such as this recipe, or a crudite. They have way more flavor & sweetness than traditional bagged carrots. But, you can use whatever you'd like...the little peeled baby carrots would work well too {you can just leave those whole}.
For slicing, you can cut them into fat rounds, slice them into funky shapes {like these}, or slice them into sticks {as I did}.
Add them to the bowl...

along with 1 medium diced jicama...or, anything else you decide to throw in. Give the veggies a good toss to make sure they are all evenly distributed.

Then, get your jars ready. I didn't have two-1 qt. jars handy...so, I used an assortment of canning jars in various sizes. Whatever size you decide to use, make sure they are thoroughly clean before using.
Into the bottom of each jar, add an assortment of peeled, whole garlic cloves...red pepper flakes {to taste}...a few whole peppercorns...and several sprigs of fresh dill.

Layer your veggies into the jars. Just because I felt like it, I threw in a few more sprigs of dill, as I was adding in the veggies. Fill each jar, nearly to the top & press down gently, as you fill them, to fit in as much as you can.

In a glass measuring cup, combine 2 cups of white vinegar, 2 cup of water & 4 tablespoons of kosher salt. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. Pour the liquid evenly between each jar, until filled within a 1/2" of the lid. Depending on what jars you are using, it may be necessary to make some more brine.

Pour a 1/2" layer of olive oil into each jar & seal tightly.

Let the jars sit in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks. Once opened, they can be enjoyed for months in the refrigerator.
If you like this post, you might also enjoy...Dill Pickles or Dilled Potato & Pickled Cucumber Salad,

Giardiniera

Makes about 2 quarts
Giardiniera, pronounced {jar din nair ah}, is a pickled vegetable condiment. It's delicious added to sandwiches, or salads...and also tastes great as part of an antipasto.
You can use any combination of vegetables you desire...some great additions would be fennel, eggplant, celery, or pearl onions. Traditional canning methods, such as hot water baths, etc, are not needed here. The high level of acid in the brine inhibits the growth of bacteria & the layer of olive oil on top seals out air.


1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 bunch carrots, cut into strips, or rounds
1 medium jicama, medium diced
5-6 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes, to taste
several sprigs of fresh dill
10 whole peppercorns
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
4 tablespoons kosher salt
olive oil

special equipment: 2-1 quart size glass canning jars with tight fitting lids, or any combination of sizes that equal about 2 quarts

Prepare all the vegetables & place them in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
Make sure your glass jars are thoroughly clean, either by boiling them in water, or washing them well with very hot water. Into the bottom of each jar, add a few cloves of garlic, some of the peppercorns, a few dashes of red pepper flakes & a few sprigs of fresh dill. How much depends on what size jar you are using. Larger jars should get more, smaller jars should get less.
Fill each jar with the raw vegetables, nearly to the top. Press down gently, as you fill them, to fit in as much as you can.
In a glass measuring cup, combine the vinegar, water & salt. Whisk until the salt is dissolved. Pour the liquid evenly between each jar, until filled within a 1/2" of the lid. Depending on what jars you are using, it may be necessary to make some more brine. Pour a 1/2" layer of olive oil into each jar & seal tightly.
Let the jars sit in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks. Once opened, they can be enjoyed for months in the refrigerator.
Click here for the printable recipe.

7 comments:

Joanne said...

These would definitely be great atop a good turkey sandwich! Or pizza! Or eaten straight out of the jar!

Laura said...

Sounds yummy - I will have to buy some fresh veggies tomorrow at the store and try it out. Can't wait 'til summertime to try it with veggies right out of the garden. Thanks for sharing!

Biz said...

I cannot wait to make this!! I have the typical Chicago relish in my fridge as we speak, but I love your big chunks - thanks for sharing! :D

Carrie said...

This looks and sounds wonderful! What gorgeous photos. I've never thought to make this homemade before - great idea!

Lizzy M. said...

My husband loves giardiniera. Your pictures me want to make it!

Marie said...

Just opened my first batch the other day...came out awesome! Giardiniera is one of my favorite vinegar-y treats and I couldn't have been happier with the result of my first pickling adventure!

foxflat said...

just gave this a try last weekend - I've already eaten 3 pints. soooo good

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