Around 9:30 every morning, my coworkers and I begin talking about food. Not sure why, probably because most of us forgot to eat breakfast and are already beginning to get hungry. Most of our conversations revolve about what we have seen on television or the web, or more so, what would really taste good at that time. Not sure why we were on topic, but one of my coworkers and I began talking about giardiniera, the spicy vegetable medley that is typically served on Italian beef sandwiches, sausages, or simply served alone as an antipasto, or alongside a salad. Well, what happens when we begin talking about food, and in particular one that I have yet to make, but surely love? I make it. So here is my take on the wonderful, spicy, but somewhat sweet, giardiniera.
Keep in mind that giardiniera is typically made of bell peppers, cauliflower, chilies, olives, and carrots, however you can add your own as well, as like I did with a bit of radish, Thai chilies, and then some.
This takes a few days; one to soak the veggies overnight in salt water, and the following 2 days to let sit in the vinegar and sugar solution. Patience pays off.
Ingredients: (Step One)
- 2 green bell peppers, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, small florets
- 6 jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 2 serrano peppers, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 4 Thai chilies, whole
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 small to medium sized yellow onion, diced
- 4 radishes, quartered
- 1/2 cup of kosher salt
- cold water to cover
To a large bowl, add in all of the above ingredients, covering with water, and making sure to dissolve as much as the salt into the water. Cover, place in the refrigerator and let sit overnight.
The following day, drain and thoroughly rinse the vegetable medley.
Ingredients (Step Two)
- 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp course black pepper
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
Begin by adding vinegar to a small pot, and add the sugar to that. Bring to a boil and let cook at a steady boil for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
When the vinegar is completely cooled, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Add this to your vegetables, and mix well. Add to your canning jars, and let sit for at least 2-3 days before serving.
The outcome is some truly amazing giardiniera that packs some really great heat but has a great sweetness and tartness that will have you coming back for more.