Monday, October 12, 2020

Pickled Vegetables {Giardiniera}

What is Giardiniera? 
It is
 pickled vegetables, and there are two types:

  • Italian giardiniera refers to vegetables pickled in vinegar and originated as a method for preserving the bounty of a big harvest.
  • Chicago-style giardiniera is a medley of chopped vegetables, most commonly, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, celery, and chile peppers joined together and preserved in a two-step process: First, they're pickled vinegar and then they're marinated in olive oil. Chicago-style giardiniera, which likely has origins with the wave of late 19th century Chicago, is most often eaten as a condiment (like on the classic Chicago sandwich, the Italian beef), whereas Italian-style is most commonly served straight-up as part of an antipasto platter. (source: Bonappetit)

How do you use Giardiniera? Giardiniera is a versatile condiment that can be used on a variety of different foods such as

  • bratwurst
  • bruschetta
  • burgers
  • pasta salad
  • eggs (omelets)
  • hot dogs
  • tuna salad
  • sandwiches such as hearty subs/gyros
  • Bloody Mary's
  • Antipasto platters
  • Charcuterie boards

My version is more like the Italian style using just a pickling brine to preserve it since I wanted to be able to process it for shelf stability (and you can't process it with the olive oil). When you go to open a jar, you can certainly drain the brine and add some olive oil if desired, and then keep it refrigerated. 

1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 bag pearl onions, peeled and larger ones cut in 1/2
2-3 cups fresh green beans, cut into pieces
2-3 jalapeno peppers, cut into slices
2 mad hatter peppers or other sweet pepper, cut into small slices
4 cups distilled vinegar
2 cups water
3 tbsp pickling salt

Add to each jar:
1/2 tsp dill seed
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Add spices to each of 8 pint jars. Prepare and cut up all veggies placing 2-3 slices of jalapeno peppers and mad hatter or other sweet peppers in the jars first. Next begin to layer in all the other veggies leaving 1/2-inch headspace; do not over pack the jars.

Place the vinegar, water and pickling salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt. Carefully pour brine over veggies in each jar leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Top jars with lids and bands and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Once done, remove jars and place on a kitchen towel on your countertop and allow the jars to sit 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when the button in the middle of the lid is fully depressed and won't flex up or down.

For best results allow the Giardiniera to sit for 2-3 weeks before opening to give the flavors a chance to develop.

Store in pantry up to one year. Refrigerate any open jars.

Yield: 8 pint jars


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