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.

Giardiniera Burger

Giardiniera (Pretty Pickle)
Bright, crisp, sweet, yet tangy, this is a great dish of preserved, pickled vegetables.
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 batch
  • 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)
  1. 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.
  2. Select jars with glass or enameled lids. Wash and rinse well, then dry in a warm oven, 212 degrees F. (100 degrees C.).
  3. 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.
  4. Makes approximately 3 Quarts (3 liters).

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