Hot Italian Giardiniera
Updated: Oct 29, 2022
Mercy me!! This is the veggie pickle crowd pleaser of all time, not soooo hot that it burns, just spicy enough to please and sweet enough to tickle and delight everyone! The sugar cuts the heat perfectly, oooooo la la!!!
For this I owe and joyfully attribute to my dear sister, Heidi. Heidi grows her own fruit, vegetables, and herbs with her husband, Rob, on thier small farm, Garden of Eaten. They then sell her own canned goods from an adorable roadside stand. The canned goods and fresh veggies are even sold on an honor system while Heidi is at her day job, are you kidding me? 🙏🏻❤️
Here is another great thing about this pickle: it's really not summer season dependent. Though it's perfect to create fresh from the summer's garden veggies, these particular veggies hold up well from the market year round. So don't feel the pressure if you are just getting to this pickle "off-season".
You should already know that I feel strongly about the importance of sourcing organic with root vegetables, however.
Anyway, this is THE STUFF:
Pickling brine for 9 quarts & 4 pints:
3 cups sugar
8 cups water
8 cups white vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
2 tbs salt
Heat on the stove until sugar is melted and brine just begins to boil.
While brine is heating, prepare the jars.
In each sterilized quart jar place the following (for pints use 1/2 the amount):
1/4 tsp Dill seed
1/4 tsp Mustard seed
1/4 tsp Fennel seed
1/4 tsp Peppercorns
1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Coriander seed
4 whole Garlic cloves
4 Bay leaves
Pack the jars tightly with equal amounts of the following vegetables cut into large chunks:
Red/green bell pepper
1 medium sized sliced Jalapeño (or serrano)
3-4 large green olives with pimento
Pour the hot brine over the vegetables leaving a quarter of an inch head space at the top. Rock the jars back-and-forth to release any air bubbles & use a bamboo skewer, chopstick or a butter knife to run around the edges of the vegetables releasing any extra air bubbles to prevent food spoilage.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel to ensure a perfect seal.
Place new lids and clean rings on the jars and process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Classic Giardiniera is not sweetened like this, but I think it's part of the charm and it does cut the heat.
You can chop the veggies however large or small you prefer. In Italy the vegetables are usually left in fairly large pieces and that way it’s also more versatile. Left in larger pieces you have the flexibility of serving the giardiniera with your charctuerie/antipasto platters and when you want to use it for tacos, wraps, sandwiches, hot dogs, pasta salads, etc, you can simply diced up the finished giardiniera into smaller chunks.
If you prefer a really crunchy pickle, salt and soak before processing. Pour 1/2 cup kosher salt over the vegetables. Pour enough water over the vegetables to cover them. Let them soak in the salt water for at least 6 hours or overnight. Thoroughly rinse and drain the vegetables before dividing them up between the jars.
Here is Heidi 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻
Here is the farm stand and her field. "My large garden is 80‘ x 80‘ in that I grow multiple types of tomatoes multiple types of hot peppers including Hungarian hot wax and jalapeños, red and green bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and potatoes. Then by my house I have four raised beds that I grow all my herbs dill, oregano, parsley and I also grow cherry tomatoes onions egg plant kale, celery, and cucumbers".