Giardiniera from Scratch is quick giardiniera recipe, refrigerator vegetables salad, homemade, Italian canning traditional version to inspire everybody to make their own version and enjoy the best pickled veggies with as many savoury dishes as you can imagine.
Hello everybody ! This easy and traditional Italian pickled vegetables recipe is so dear to my heart !
It is easy made one, quick Giardiniera from Scratch and, after I did a little research in my family, I discovered why my grandmother named it Bulgarian salad.
Before I start explaining what Bulgarian people have to do with it, let me just say it is Italian Giardiniera Sottaceto ( abbreviated form of sotto aceto, meaning “ under vinegar”). Translated, it means “selection of garden vegetables under vinegar”.
Many decades ago, there was Bulgarian family, hard working farmers that were growing huge quantities of vegetables, all sorts of them. They were supplying the whole area with their delicious healthy products. It was before hordes of tourists from all over started visiting our part of the world thanks to all kinds of transportation by water, land and air.
When making plans for canning and preserving, my grandmother always visited them to make seasonal purchase arrangements both for home and restaurant so every pickled vegetables jar in her pantry was simply tagged as “Bulgarian salad”.
Needless to say, it was usually made with green, yellow and red bell peppers, carrot, cabbage, parsley, cauliflower, broccoflower, olives, capers, celery, garlic and onions. On the top of these beautifully coloured arrangements, herbs growing at home give the very special taste: oregano, parsley, and bay leaves. Coriander seeds and black peppercorns are also must include.
For the hunters’ season, there was always a hot style giardiniera ready. It matched perfectly to wild game dinners my grandmother prepared for the hunters coming back in the evening after spending the whole day in the woods. ( Is it OK if I say there were hungry like the wolves ? )
As for many old fashioned recipes, there are as many versions as there are chefs preparing them. So happens with Giardiniera from Scratch. You can always make it hot by adding peperoncini.
I guess you noticed I used purple cauliflower and many people believe it is GMO product. Well, it is not.
It is absolutely safe to eat it both raw and cooked. While boiling it turns grey ( just like purple cabbage ) but if you add any acid ( vinegar, for instance ) it turns to purple again.
As about health properties, it reduces inflamation and prevent heart disease.
What makes this Italian giardiniera so special ?
It is about several phases of preparation that makes you enjoy it in sandwiches, with sausages, pork cracklings and pizza for example. We serve it as a simple salad that makes a side dish as well. It is crunchy since I preboil vegetables for three minutes only, in salty boiling water, and it is not olive oil based but vinegar combined with water based.
There is only one tablespoon of olive oil on the top of each mason jar. You can find the best ratio of vinegar/ water for your taste. Our version of Italian giardiniera is made with 3 ¾ cups water and 1 ½ cup white vinegar. I prepare our homemade giardiniera version quite mild so everybody can add more spices to it ( be it vinegar, peperoncini or anything else ).
This quantity of vegetables and brine makes six jars. Each jar’s volume is 1 ½ cup; small batch to store in the fridge to spend. This size jars are great to give away if a foodie arrives to your home and loves your giadiniera.
Big jars are always a problem at our small household. If I open a large sized anything it spoils quickly and I really don’t like wasting food. So, after you try this suggested combination of flavours, it may be an inspiration for you to create your own combination of vegetables and make another, with a twist, once you wish to have some more Italian giardiniera flavours !
Below you can see how I boiled white cauliflower, and then continued with other colors (carrots and broccoflowers, separately :
Here you can see the photo of filled and sealed jars. I just have to wait for two days and transfer the beauty into the fridge. It has to be used within two weeks.
Before the recipe, I decided to ask some more sentences about re-using pickle juice; so here we go:
- Is it possible to re – use pickle juice for new batch of pickles ?
Always make fresh brine. Re – using is not safe. Especially refrigerated vegetables brine leftovers ! What you can do is flavour dips, salad dressings or even as a marinade!
- Can I freeze pickle juice ?
Yes you can but it melts at as -6°F (-21°C).
- What if I use frozen vegetables to pickle ?
The best is to freeze fresh vegetables. They keep their crunch. From my experience, I would not recommend doing so. Do your best to freeze fresh seasonal vegetables available in your neighbourhood.
Giardiniera from Scratch
Giardiniera from Scratch is quick giardiniera recipe, refrigerator vegetables salad, homemade,Italian canning traditional version to inspire everybody to make their own version and enjoy the best pickled veggies with as many savoury dishes as you can imagine.
- Ingredients for giardiniera :
- 2½ cup small florets of white cauliflower ( 250 grams )
- 2 ½ cup small florets of , broccoflower ( 250grams )
- 2 ½ cup small florets of purple cauliflower ( 250 grams )
- 1 carrot, sliced ( 120 grams )
- ½ green bell pepper, cleaned and sliced
- ½ red bell pepper,cleaned and sliced
- Sliced cabbage to taste
- 3 baby bell peppers ( yellow and orange ), cleaned and sliced
- Parsley leaves to taste
- Oregano leaves to taste
- 6 small bay leaves
- 6 garlic cloves,whole
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 6 cups water with1 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- Ingredients for the brine :
- 3 ¾ cups water
- 1 ½ cup white vinegar
- 2 ¼ tsp salt
Prepare 6 clean glass jars and combine coriander seeds and black peppercorns in a small glass.
Divide the seeds into 6 jars. Also, put one garlic and bay leaf to each glass jar and leave aside.
In medium sized pot, boil the brine ingredients.
Start boiling white cauliflower for three minutes. Take it out, wash with running cold water and leave aside. Repeat the process, using the same boiling water, with carrot and broccoflower. I did not boil purple cauliflower. Left it raw to cover with brine.
Arrange vegetables into the jars and add oregano and parsley leaves. Leave the jars aside.
In medium sized pot, bring brine ingredients: water, vinegar and salt to boil. Pour the boiling brine over the vegetables to cover them completely.
On the top of each jar, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Wipe the rims and seal the jars.
Let the jars sit in your kitchen at room temperature for 2 days and remove them to the fridge afterwards.
Keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.
Please have in mind it is quick refrigerator giardiniera recipe, not water bath version so you have to spend it within two weeks.