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

12 peppercorns

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.


Marvelous Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Mondays,



10 thoughts on “Giardiniera

  1. I am completely fascinated with this recipe! I have never heard it this, but it sounds FANTASTIC! Tell me why you don’t have to seal your lids? Thanks for sharing at Weekend Potluck!
    ~Tonya from 4 little Fergusons

    • I have no idea! 🙂 It always works perfectly though. I guess between the salt and the wine/vinegar when you first close it it just creates a suction. So obviously you wouldn’t open it before the six week pickling period. I keep them in a dry, darkish place- and the longer they pickle the better it will be! Thanks so much for clicking- I hope you love it!

  2. Very interesting recipe! We’ve eaten it store-purchased and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a recipe to DIY. Thanks so much for linking up at Weekend Potluck.

    • If you’ve nver had homemade I highly recommend it. The store bought kind is always too vinegar-y fr me, whereas the homemde kind has a salty, savory flavor to it. Try it and let me know what you think! I’ll be waiting to hear all about it in about 6-8 weeks ;p

  3. I have been researching this and was very happy to find your recipe. I like some of the bought brands, but for some reason they add oil, which always seems to be soybean which is now forbidden to me. I think I understand the curing process since I have been making cured lemons and pickles, but how did jalapeño get mixed into an Italian recipe? I am pinning, I am anxious to make this.

    • I am a big jalapeno fan. Whenever a recipe calls for hot peppers that is what I use no matter what type of dish. Giardiniera is different depending on where you get it (in Chicago, I mean). Some places make their giardiniera completely out of different hot peppers, but I prefer the mix of veggies.

  4. Pingback: Family Smorgasbord Night – No Cooking, Just Bonding | Glover Gardens Cookbook

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