Sunday, August 26, 2012


Giardiniera is a pickled, spiced vegetable mix, often used as a condiment for food in the Midwestern U.S.  Jennifer grew up in the Chicago area and was very familiar with this mix as a topping for Italian Beef sandwiches so we decided to try some here at home.  This is not an authentic Italian giardiniera as it has some jalapeños, olives, fennel, etc and the Italian variety, as I understand it, is more spartan with onion, zucchini, carrots, celery, and cauliflower in vinegar.

We just went to the farmer's market, decided what looked good, and went with that for veggies.  I suggest that if you like something specific, use it.  If you don't like something I used, leave it out or substitute something else.  This really is just a pickles veggie condiment so get creative.  Do green beans if you like.  Get nuts!

While giardiniera is usually pretty hot, I don't like to make mine burn-the-taste-buds-off hot.  Add Serrano peppers or more red pepper flake if you like the scorching, mouth-blistering heat.

I know I'll probably hear from 15 different people how this isn't authentic or whatever but you know what?  It's not the end of the world.  This is:  -justin

Time: overnight +20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: About 2 1/2 pints worth


  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup fennel bulb or stalks, diced
  • 3/4 cup banana pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 cup sweet Hungarian pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • water to cover
  • 1/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives, diced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
Place all the veggies in a bowl, add the salt, add enough water to submerge the veggies, cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge over night.

The next day, drain and rinse veggies under cold water.  Add the green olives and minced garlic to the drained veggies.  In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flake, black pepper and thyme.  Place the vegetables in your storage container of choice (I recommend glass jars), add the whisked liquid.  Store in fridge for 2 days before serving.

Note:  Storing it in the fridge, the oil will separate and congeal on top.  Either take the jar out of the fridge a half hour before you know you'll need to use it.  Or if you need it immediately, because it's so awesome you can't wait a half hour, just remove the lid and microwave for 30 seconds and stir.

It's great on salads, sandwiches, soups, as a side dish for a heavy or greasy meal, mixed in rice dishes or casseroles, etc.

This batch was made with broccoli instead of cauliflower.  (We prefer cauliflower.)

We also sometimes cut the vegetables smaller for a small relish!


  1. One of the awesome information about the Hot Giardiniera .You really did a great job by posting it.Thanks

    1. Thanks so much, Dominic! Gives me a great taste of home (Chicago) that I can't really find out here in Cali. Was just looking at the Sonoma Farm site... some of THOSE recipes look great! Are they yours?