Friday, March 1, 2013


Italians make a lovely pickled vegetable mix called Giardiniera.  It usually consists of cauliflower, carrots, onions and red bell pepper.  Some recipes call for chunks of cabbage and/or pepperoncini as well, while others add enough red pepper flakes to give it a kick.  I've sometimes substituted romanesco for some of the cauliflower to great effect.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This Giardiniera can be poured into pints jars and processed in a hot water bath canner to make a shelf stable product that will keep for at least a year, or you can skip this step and store it in the fridge for up to 14 days.

It's delicious chopped and added to an antipasto salad or an Italian sub sandwich as well as on a relish plate.   Consider adding chopped Giardiniera to grilled cheese made with provolone cheese on Italian bread.

For about 3 pints:

2 T + 1 t kosher salt
4 C cauliflower florets
2 C peeled and sliced carrots
1 t black mustard seeds
1/2 t cumin seeds
1 t black peppercorns
2 C white 5% vinegar
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
5 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t ground turmeric
1 C red bell pepper cut lengthwise into strips

1.  Add 1 t kosher salt to a large pot with 2 quarts of water (set aside 2 T kosher salt) and bring the water to a boil.

2.  Add the cauliflower florets and sliced carrots to the boiling water.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Drain and add vegetables to an ice water bath to stop cooking.  Set aside.

3.  Put the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorns in a medium saucepan and toast the spices over medium heat until fragrant.

4.  Add the vinegar, garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, red pepper, 2 T salt, and turmeric.  Add 1 C water.  Bring to a boil.

5.  Mix the red pepper strips with the blanched cauliflower and carrots.

For shelf-stable canned Giardiniera:  Pack the vegetables tightly into clean, hot pint jars.  Pour the hot brine over the vegetables.  Remove any air bubbles with a plastic knife.  Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth.  Screw on the lids.  Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.  Remove from canner and allow to cool completely.  Check seals.  Allow sealed jars to sit to 2-5 days before opening.  Store any unsealed or open jars in the fridge.

For quick pickles:  In a non-reactive and heat-resistant container, pour the hot brine over the vegetables.  Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 days before using.  Store quick pickles in the fridge for up to 14 days.

Today's bounty included:

From County Line Harvest South:  Collard greens, red chard, and beets;

From Jimenez Family Farm:  Space spinach, Japanese turnips, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, butternut squash, potatoes, and carrots;

From K and K Ranch:  Tangerines and navel oranges;

From Silver Lake Farms:  Assorted herbs and lemons.



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