Giardinieria is often seen in Italian restaurants in large gallon-size jars full of colorful sliced vegetables. This recipe for the homemade variety is far better than anything in a jar. Tangy and refreshing!
Use Giardiniera as a salad, a topping for burgers, frankfurters, grilled sausage or bratwurst, topping for bruschetta, or as a key ingredient in sandwiches. Its uses are varied and plentiful, as are its complex flavors. Giardiniera is a superb dish, well suited to picnics or other outdoor dining events.
- 2 1/4 pounds (1 kilo) small carrots (3/4-inch/2cm diameter)
- 1 bunch celery
- 4 bell peppers (capsicums) (red, yellow or green, or any combination)
- 1 large cauliflower (2 1/4 pounds/1 kilo)
- 2 1/4 pounds small white onions, peeled (1 kilo)
- 1 Cup salt
- 1 Gallon cold water (4 liters)
- 1/2 Gallon white vinegar (2 liters)
- 1/4 Cup mustard seed
- 2 Tablespoons celery seed
- 3 dried chillies
- 1 pound sugar (500 grams)
- Peel carrots, cut in half lengthwise then into 1 1/2-inches (4cm) long pieces. Cut celery into similar sized pieces. Remove seeds from Capsicums and cut into 3/4 inch (2cm) strips, 1 1/2-inches long. Break the cauliflower into 1 1/2-inch florets. Dissolve the salt in cold water. Dissolve the salt in cold water. Cover the vegetables with this brine and leave overnight. A clean (new) plastic bucket is a suitable container. After 12 to 18 hours drain the vegetables, rinse in cold water, and allow to drain again.
- Select jars with glass or enameled lids. Wash and rinse well, then dry in a warm oven, 212 degrees F. (100 degrees C.).
- In a large enamel or stainless steel pan combine vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, chillies and sugar. Boil for 3 minutes and then add the carrots and onions and boil for 5 minutes. Fill the warmed, sterilized mason jars with hot vegetables and top up with vinegar to within half inch (1cm) of rim. Close lids firmly.
- Makes approximately 3 Quarts (3 liters).