I love giardiniera. Most grocery stores sell several brands of jarred giardiniera, but if you’re a true giardiniera-lover like me, you know that stuff isn’t very good. That is…unless you’ve never had mine I say that with complete humility because I have fashioned my giardiniera recipe after the best in the world, which can be found in just about any place in the greater Chicago area. Granted, there are many different types of giardiniera to be found in Chicago, but in the tradition of Tony’s Subs and Sammy’s (as well as many others, I am sure) this version of giardiniera is what I’ve grown up with and love along with the highly coveted and indigenous Italian Beef sandwich.
Ingredients for Giardiniera:
1 sm head cauliflower, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper & 1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 – 3 ribs of celery, sliced
1 lb. bag of shredded carrots
1 jar small green olives
3 chile or jalapeno pods, sliced
4 cloves garlic
8 lg sprigs fresh dill
2 1/2 C. water
3 C. white wine or rice vinegar
4 T. sea or kosher salt
olive oil to top off
This little gadget from Pampered Chef is super cool and useful when making perfect little slices of any vegetable.
Thoroughly clean and trim the vegetables, including seeds from hot peppers (leave in for desired hotness), cutting into small pieces. This particular batch will be hot because I used 5 peppers and left in all the seeds. I also used a whole batch of fresh dill sprigs because you just can’t have too much dill. I also had to use really large olives because that was all that was available in my supermarket, so I sliced them up myself.
Pack the veggies into 1 quart jars tightly. I use regular screw-lid jars. There is no need for boiling or sealing the lids. Make your pickling mixture using the water, wine, and salt. I’ve used the rice vinegar once and I did not like it at all. I’ve made this with a general dry chardonnay many times and it always comes out great! The vinegar makes it way too vinegary for my taste- the wine does an ample job of giving it a nice subdued vinegaryness (yeah, I know that’s not a word). Pour the water-wine mixture into the jars, submerging the veggies, and let it settle. Leave enough room for the 1/2 inch of olive oil that you will pour to top it all off with.
Screw the lids on tightly and store in a cool pantry for 2 -6 weeks. The longer it pickles the better it will be! Do not open the lids until ready to eat. Once the jar has been opened, refrigerate. Makes 3 quarts.
What to eat with your Giardiniera??
Italian Beef Sandwiches, of course!
Excellent on all types of deli sandwiches including turkey, beef, and even tuna.
For a very low-fat breakfast, make into an omelet. Delicious!
Use flatbread, tomato sauce (or hummus) add cheese, and make a pizza.