Giardinieri: Mixed Italian Antipasto Garden Pickle
15-minute preparation time 5 minutes for cooking Recipe may be doubled; yields one quart.
This recipe’s appeal is that it makes use of several leftover ingredients, making it ideal for gardeners with tiny plots of land who may not always have bushels of each item available.
The veggies listed here are conventional for this kind of pickle, but in reality, you may use whatever is in season in your garden or at the farmer’s market.
Giardinieri are topped with extra-virgin olive oil, which is mostly there for taste rather than preservation.
Pickles become sparkling and even more tasty than they would be without that decadent touch when you remove them from the jar after passing them through the oil.
However, the oil will congeal at refrigerator or cold storage temperatures, so be careful to let the jar and its contents to warm up to room temperature before serving to re-liquefy the oil.
- 1 little head of cauliflower (approximately 1 pound)
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 bell pepper, red or yellow
- 6 carrots (approximately)
- medium-sized yellow or white onion
- White distilled vinegar or 134 cups white wine (the wine vinegar has a superior taste, but either will bring out the colors of the veggies)
- water in 112 cups
- Salt, medium-grain or kosher, two tablespoons
- One tablespoon of sugar or two tablespoons of honey
- 2 full, peeled garlic cloves
- Using the point of a knife, puncture 1 tiny, hot chili pepper (optional)
- 1.5 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
- Black peppercorns, 5 to 6, whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 3–4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil of the highest quality, 1 sprig of fresh thyme (optional).
- Cauliflower, celery, and bell pepper should first be washed. Remove the stem and solid center of the cauliflower, then separate the remaining florets into ones that are about an inch thick (a little more is fine). Remove the pepper’s stem, seeds, and any remaining white pith. Make 1-inch-long slices out of the celery. Cut the bell pepper into strips or 1-inch-long chunks.
either into strips or chunks of 1 inch.
- After washing and peeling the carrots, slice them into 1-inch pieces.
Peel the onion, third. Slice it into 14-inch-thick pieces after cutting it in half.
- Combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and honey in a big saucepan. High heat should be used to bring it to a boil while stirring to dissolve the salt, sugar, or honey.
- Combine the brine with the chopped veggies. Reduce the heat to medium after the liquid reaches a boil, then cook the veggies for 5 minutes while stirring periodically. Taking the pot off the fire.
- Fill a quart-sized clean glass jar with the garlic, entire black peppercorns, mustard seeds, and hot chile pepper (if using). Transfer the veggies to the jar using a slotted spoon. As you add the veggies, tuck in the bay leaf and the sprig of thyme (if used). The vegetables look best when they are pressed up against the jar’s sides.
- Transfer the warm brine to the jar. There should be a 34 inch head space between the surface of the meal and the jar’s rim while the liquid should fully cover the veggies and seasonings.
- Spoon the extra virgin olive oil over everything else. Only add enough oil to thoroughly cover the brine’s surface. Put the jar’s lid on tightly and place it in a cool location, such as a refrigerator. Before tasting, allow the flavors to meld for at least a week.
Giardinieri will remain fresh for at least three months if stored coldly or refrigerated. Leave the olive oil out and process it in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (modify the canning duration if you live at a high altitude; see the sidebar in the Boiling Water Bath Canning chapter)
if you want to preserve it for prolonged storage (up to a year) at room temperature. The olive oil, however, is such a delightful component of this pickle that I believe it is best to use it and prepare smaller amounts that you will use within three months.
Zucchini, green or wax beans, and romanesco broccoli are some more veggies that taste well when pickled as giardinieri.