Giardiniera are pickled Italian vegetables usually eaten as an antipasto. They are often accompanied by cheeses, meats, and are even eaten with salads. Personally I even like to snack on it in the afternoon with a piece of crusty bread. I even love putting it on a sandwich. In Italy a giardiniera typically has cauliflower, red peppers, carrots and celery. But this too can vary in different regions.
But any way you eat it, these pickled vegetables are outstanding. My grandmother even put string beans and mushrooms in hers. Not only is giardiniera delicious but it is relatively healthy, and it’s super easy to make.
1 head of cauliflower cut into bite size florets
5 carrots peeled and julienned
6 celery stalks thinly sliced crosswise
3 red peppers julienned
6 cups white wine vinegar
3 cups water
3 Tbsp. Salt and 1 tsp. Salt.
3 Tbsp. Sugar
6 bay leaves
1 cups extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp. Oregano
12 oz. pepperonino in vinegar – stems cut off and cut into small rings.
In a pot put the water, the white vinegar, 3 tbsp. salt, the sugar, and the bay leaves. Bring this mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the carrots. Cook for one minute. Then add the celery and the red peppers. Cook for another three minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until the veggies are still bright but tender. Turn off the heat. Add the pepperoncini, cover and let it sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, make the vinaigrette. In a bowl put the olive oil, oregano and 6 tablespoons of vinegar from the vegetable pot and 1 tsp. of salt..
Strain the veggies. Cool for about 10 minutes. Then add the veggies to the vinaigrette and stir gently. Keep on the counter for about an hour. Then refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before serving. Store in an airtight container, for up to two weeks.