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Giardiniera (Pickled vegetables Italian style) recipe

Giardiniera (Pickled vegetables Italian style) recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Preserves
  • Pickles

This Italian recipe from Piedmont also called 'Conserva di verdure alla piemontese' are vegetables pickled in vinegar and served as antipasto, on bread or crackers, or as a side to boiled meat.

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IngredientsMakes: 6 (450g) jars

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 300g pearl onions
  • 300g green beans, cut in 5cm pieces
  • 300g carrots, sliced 5mm thick
  • 300g stalk celery, cut in 5mm pieces
  • 300g red and yellow peppers, seeds removed and cut into strips
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 200ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar

MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:50min ›Extra time:15min › Ready in:2hr5min

  1. Cook the tomatoes in a large sauce pan on medium heat for 10 minutes. Pass through the food mill, discard skin, add salt and bring back to the saucepan. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  2. Add onion, green beans and carrot and cook for 10 minutes. Then add remaining vegetables, oil, vinegar, salt and sugar and cook on low heat for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, sterilize 6 (450g) glass jars. Pour some water in your pressure cooker about 2cm high.
  4. Remove the veg from heat and ladle the vegeatables in the jars. Close with lids and place jars close together in your pressure cooker. Close the cooker and let pressure build. Cook on minimum for 12 minutes, release pressure and open the cooker. Double check to make sure the jars are sealed.
  5. If you do not have a pressure cooker, wrap each jar in a towel and place in a regular large pot. Cover with water and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Store in a cool, dry and dark place, up to 3 months. Once opened, store in the fridge.
  7. Serve the vegetables as antipasto on bread or as side dish with boiled meat. Perfect if paired with canned oil tuna.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)


Italian Pickled Vegetables (Giardiniera)

Made with fresh vegetables, vinegar, and spices, Italian Pickled Vegetables (Giardiniera) is the perfect crunchy topping for salads, sandwiches, antipasto platters and more!

Move over, pickles, we’re making room in the fridge for another crunchy, vinegary favorite, Italian Giardiniera!

Italian Pickled Vegetables, aka, giardiniera, is a pickled vegetable medley that’s traditionally made with cauliflower, carrots, celery, pepperoncini peppers, red bell pepper, and pickling spices. You can buy jars of it at the store, but why would you when homemade is easy to make and tastes so much better!

While it is very similar, Italian Giardiniera is different from Chicago-Style Giardiniera. While the Italian version is brined in vinegar, the Chicago-Style is brined in salted water to extract moisture (which keeps the veggies crunchy), then preserved in oil. Another difference between the two is that Chicago-Style is usually made “hot” by using spicy serrano peppers. For my Chicago-Style Hot Giardiniera recipe, click HERE.

The uses for each type of giardiniera vary too. While Chicago-style can be found on deep-dish pizzas, brats, and Italian Beef Sandwiches, Italian giardiniera is typically found on salads and antipasto platters with things like salami, cheese, olives, and crackers. I also like to skewer some on a toothpick and throw them in a Bloody Mary!

No matter how you choose to use your Italian Pickled Vegetables (Giardiniera), it’s going to be good! If you’re a pickle fiend like me, check out these recipes:


Vegetables That Are Good for Pickling

Not interested in the veggies I use? That’s perfectly okay! This recipe is super versatile and you can get creative. Find a couple substitutes below and mix and match them as you please:

  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Okra
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Artichoke hearts

Hot Tip: This tip is literally hot. If you like things spicy, add in more red pepper flakes and jalapeños. Adjust as you see fit.


Recipe of the Week: Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables)

The following recipe for Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables) was kindly sent by SurvivalBlog reader “Animal House.”

Chef’s Notes: I developed a love for giardiniera when I lived in Europe and now it is a family favorite. In the summer we add giardiniera to cold rice, salad, soups or eat as a snack. In winter add to warm rice, soups, stews and casseroles, or as a stand-alone vege with dinner. There is a German version that adds hot peppers and uses coriander rather than oregano but I like the Italian version.

This recipe fills 24 pint-size canning jars.

BRINE:
VEGETABLES:
  • 2 cauliflower heads cut into florets
  • 3 pds of carrots sliced
  • 2 heads of celery diced to bite size pieces
  • 2 each red, yellow and green bell peppers in bite size pieces
  • 2 medium size red onions, diced to bite size pieces
  • Other vegetables like green beans may be added as desired.In each pint jar:
  • ¼ tsp pickling/canning salt
  • 1/8 tsp minced garlic cloves
  • 1/8 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp black or white pepper
Instructions

Follow all the food safety guidelines for canning!

  1. In a pan, heat water, and two vinegars for brine, turn heat off before boiling.
  2. Ready your utensils, jars, lids/rings and canners for water bathing.
  3. Begin heating the water bath so it is boiling prior to putting jars in canner.
  4. Add the spices to each pint jar.
  5. Divide vegetables among the jars and pack tightly into jars.
  6. Pour the brine to 1” below jar rim use a plastic or wood utensil to release the air bubbles in each jar.
  7. Add additional brine as needed to allow ½ to ¾ inch head space, but cover top of veges.
  8. Wipe the jar rims so nothing remains on the rims to block sealing.
  9. Finger tighten rings on to jar lids and carefully place in the water bath.
  10. Bring water bath back to a boil and set your timer for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from canner and let cool on a clean dish towel. Leave jars set at least an hour before checking for lid sealing.
  12. Let jars set for at least 7 days to pickle, before eating.

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11 Comments

This is fantastic!
My husband and I (both Italian) add giardiniera to every meal we eat. I actually stocked up on several dozen jars of the store bought Dell’Alpe brand (which is in oil) but we eat so much of it that I’m excited to make your version.
Thank you for providing your recipe for us

Would the addition of green beans require pressure canning or will the vinegar take care of it?

The vinegar brine will take care of the green beans also, but you may want to let it perk a bit longer than a week.

The Mexican version of it is called escabeche and also contains whole garlic heads and jalapenos. Very tasty and easy to make

Animal House!
Fabulous recipe… Can’t wait to try it! Thank you, thank you!


How to Make Homemade Giardiniera

I highly recommend that you do all of the prep work at once before starting the rest of this refrigerator pickles recipe. It’s a big time saver!

First, chop all of the fresh produce into small bite sized pieces. Cut the Serrano chiles in half and drain the green olives.

Set out 4 pint jars. To each jar add the olive oil, smashed garlic clove, bay leaf, Serrano pepper, oregano, celery seeds, fennel seeds, and mustard seeds.

Divide the cauliflower, sliced carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and olives evenly between the four jars. Don’t be afraid to fill them to the very top.

Next, make the brine: Set a medium sauce pot over high heat. Add the water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir well. Carefully pour the boiling brine into each jar so that they are not quite full.

Use caution when handling the jars while the water is hot!

Allow the pickled vegetables to cool at room temperature for at least an hour. Then cover tightly with a lid, shake, and refrigerate for 36-48 hours before serving.

If you find the pickled vegetables a bit too salty after 48 hours, just pour off one-third of the brine water and refill with fresh water before sealing and placing back in the refrigerator.

Enjoy within four weeks for the best freshest Giardiniera. However, this recipe will last three to four months in the fridge.


Method

This has to begin the night before with the normal salting process.

Work your way through the list of vegetables until they are all prepared: cut each onion into eight wedges through the root next, cut the courgettes and aubergine into thick matchsticks, and the fennel bulb into wedges lastly, core and deseed the peppers and cut them into 2 inch (5 cm) chunks. Now layer all the vegetables, except the garlic and tomatoes, in a non-metallic bowl, and as you pile them in, sprinkle salt between the layers. Now pour over 3 pints (1.75 litres) of water, cover with a plate with a weight on it to submerge the vegetables, and leave the bowl in a cool place overnight.

Next day, drain the vegetables in a colander, then rinse them well under cold, running water. Now shake off the excess water, dry them in a clean tea cloth, and leave them spread out for about 3 hours on another clean tea cloth to dry off thoroughly. After that, tip the vegetables into a bowl and stir in the garlic, along with the tomatoes and olive oil. Next, sterilise the jars. To do this, wash the jars and lids in warm, soapy water, rinse well (again in warm water), then dry them thoroughly with a clean tea cloth, place them on a baking tray and pop them in a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350ºF (180ºC) for precisely 5 minutes (or the glass may crack).

Next, pour a thin layer of vinegar into the bottom of the hot, sterilised jars and add a bay leaf, a sprig of rosemary and a sprig of thyme. Then pack in the vegetables, adding the remainder of the herbs and peppercorns as you go, and pour in enough vinegar over each layer to ensure the vegetables are covered completely. Now swivel the jars to make sure the air is expelled and really press the vegetables down under the liquid before you cover with vinegar-proof lids. Label when cold and store the pickles in a cool, dry, dark place to mellow for a month before eating.


  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Add cauliflower, celery, carrot and bell pepper. Reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, then drain.

Transfer the vegetables to a medium bowl. Stir in oil, pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt and the reserved cooking liquid. Refrigerate for at least 25 minutes to chill. Stir and serve with a slotted spoon.


Giardiniera | Italian Pickled Vegetables

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes 6 to 8 cups

Special Equipment: Instant-read deep-fry or candy thermometer

Ingredients US Metric

  • 5 cups mild vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds assorted firm, raw vegetables (such as cauliflower, carrots, peppers, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and radishes, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 3 large (7 oz) shallots, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) rings (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns

Directions

Pour the oil into a medium pot. Attach an instant-read deep-fry or candy thermometer to the side of the pot, place it over medium-high heat, and bring the oil to 300°F (150°C). Lower the heat and adjust it as necessary to maintain a steady temperature.

Meanwhile, in a pot large enough to contain at least 4 times the volume of the raw vegetables (to ensure that the hot oil won’t bubble over later), combine the vegetables, shallots, vinegar, salt, garlic, coriander seeds, rosemary, and peppercorns. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice to help the salt dissolve, and then immediately drain the vegetables, reserving the vinegar mixture. You can strain the vinegar mixture, refrigerate it, and reserve it for future batches of giardiniera making. Return the vegetables to the pot.

Carefully pour the hot oil over the vegetables and let it cool to room temperature.

Divide the vegetables among several containers and add enough oil to cover. Refrigerate at least overnight or up to 1 month. For the most flavor, let the pickled vegetables come to room temperature before devouring since cold temperatures mute flavor.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Sarah Kenney

What a nice surprise! I've seen jarred giardiniera at the grocery store for years but never thought it would be so easy to make at home. I also didn't think that such a quick cook in the vinegar would be long enough to pickle the vegetables but I was wrong. The vegetables have a mild pickled flavor and the rosemary REALLY comes through! I enjoyed these with a quick lunch today and am planning to serve the rest with charcuterie for the holidays.

Trisha T.

This giardiniera yields a soft-crunchy, lightly pickled, addictive final product that I could not help but eat with a fork straight from the jar. I used a mix of cauliflower, bell peppers, and watermelon radishes. I preferred the cauliflower and radishes to the peppers, which were a little softer than I would like, but that’s the beauty of this recipe. It has an infinite number of combinations according to your preference. I loved this recipe and am happy for the lovely jars of pickled vegetables in my fridge and look forward to adding some to sandwiches this week.

Joel Jenkins

I think it's good, but I do think it could just be made better. I love good giardiniera on almost anything I can put it on or just eat it plain alongside my sandwich. I was excited to try making my own. I couldn't find bran oil except in very small quantities at the health food store and it was cost prohibitive to get 5 cups so I used grape seed oil that I had on hand.

I used cauliflower, carrots, celery, olives, and red peppers. I really liked the shallots in the recipe, I was going to add pearl onions anyway and I realize now that I like the shallots even better. My shallots come out to 1-1/4 cups loosely placed in the measure. In the pickling mix I used Morton's coarse sea salt.

I ended up with three 1-quart containers. After letting it sit overnight, I tried it the next day, not really happy with the flavors, it was too mild. After a week it was a little better but I just didn't get the pickle flavor I like, it seems like sitting in the oil tames the pickling and I'm not sure it will get any better over time. I'm going to try and cook the vegetables longer, or let them sit in the pickling before I drain it to see if it gets any more flavorful.

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Giardiniera Italian Pickled Vegetables

We’ve been buying giardiniera (jar-din-AIR-uh) Italian pickled vegetables for years. But, after making these, I will always make it at home.

This recipe has a lot of variations to suit your taste or cravings. Vegetables that can be made into giardiniera include cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers (of all colors), onion and celery. Flavor adding garlic or jalapeños, or other peppers like peperoncinis, may be added, too. Spices you can add to the veggie mix range from coriander seeds (or even ground coriander), whole peppercorns, mustard seeds and red chili flakes to oregano, fennel seeds, or bay leaf. I say you can use ground spices if you are in a pinch – it might make the liquid cloudy, though I find the spices mostly fall to the bottom of the jar. If you are making these for at home, who cares if the liquid is cloudy? (Not me.)

I couldn’t find coriander seeds to save my life (during the pandemic and I’m not going to a ton of stores for this), so I used ground coriander and it was perfect. I also used peperoncini’s from a jar, already pickled. You can also add jarred olives or pickled jalapeños. Do what is easiest for you, this is one of those “you can’t go wrong” kind of recipes.

The beautiful thing is you can make these time and time again, using different herb and spice blends each time. Be sure to write down what you add each time, so you can repeat it when you love it!

In addition to pickling a variety of vegetables, you can pickle just one vegetable alone, or a couple of your favorites. Love pickled carrots? Make a jar of carrots. Just remember that each 24-ounce jar needs about 3-1/8 cups of vegetables, or 6-1/4 cups of cut veggies for two 24-ounce jars.

This recipe calls for pickling salt, again, due to the regular salt clouding up the liquid. I couldn’t find any pickling salt locally, so I used kosher salt I had on hand. I didn’t see any clouding effect from the kosher salt.

Before putting the veggies into jars, you soak them in salty water in a “non-reactive” bowl or pan. “Reactive” and “nonreactive” refer to the type of material used to make your container. Aluminum, cast iron, and copper are reactive. Stainless steel, ceramic, glass and metal cookware with enamel coating are all nonreactive. The soaking removes some water from the veggie pieces and keeps them crunchy.

Though I’ve seen recommendations for soaking the veggies in salt water for at least six hours, I soaked mine for three hours only. The crispiness and saltiness were perfect.

When pickling veggies, the rule is that you must have equal amounts of vinegar and water. You can have more vinegar, but you can never use less vinegar than water. Always make enough vinegar, water and salt (1 tablespoon salt per cup of water) to cover the tops of the vegetables in your container.

You might want to use a canning funnel when pouring the water into the jars. I used mine, although I forgot I was using it and ended up pouring the pickling liquid directly into the second jar. Using wide mouth jars makes the pouring easier, too.

Since this isn’t a “canning” recipe, you can make giardiniera in any non-reactive container that has an airtight lid and can take the heat of boiling water.

Use giardiniera as an appetizer, a side vegetable, or on a charcuterie platter. They can be chopped small to add to pizzas, used as vegan hot dog toppings, or added to sandwiches and salads. Giardiniera is popular in Chicago (though they add oil to theirs) and in New Orleans.

You will want to leave the jars in the refrigerator for 3 days before opening them. The pickled vegetables will stay good refrigerated for up to two weeks.