Hot Italian Giardiniera – a Symphony of Vegetables

Giardiniera is a wonderful mixture of a variety of vegetables, marinated in a vinegar base with oil added. The blending of the various flavors creates a delightful topping for almost anything. Chicagoans all know that a real Italian beef sandwich ain’t nothing without some spicy giardiniera. Pizza enthusiasts add it to flavor the piping hot cheese.

But its collaboration of healthy vegetables makes it perfect for almost anything. We’ve mixed it with a bit of lowfat mayo to add spice to a piece of halibut; topped a roasted polenta and vegetable dish; and even used it as an interesting dip for a party. And it’s vegetarian.

The hardest part of this recipe is chopping up all the veggies. So put on some good tunes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and have some fun in the kitchen!

And congratulate yourself – by making it from scratch, you’ve participated in your very own Slow Food movement.

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 green bell peppers, chopped

8 Banana peppers cut into rings

8 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced (add some seeds if you like it hot!)

2 stalks of celery, chopped

4 carrots, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 cup of cauliflower florets

1/2 cup of sea salt

Water to cover

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp of dried oregano

1 tbsp of red pepper flakes

1 tsp of black pepper 

1 8 ounce jar of green olives, stuffed with pimentos, chopped

1 cup of white vinegar          

1. Combine the peppers, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and celery into a large bowl. Add the salt, mix, and cover with enough cold water to cover. Cover with a plastic wrap or aluminium foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2. After the mixture has sat for a day, drain the saltwater and rinse the vegetables with fresh water.

3. Mix together the garlic, oregano, red and black pepper, and chopped olives. Pour in vinegar and mix well. Add into vegetable mixture, cover, and refrigerate for two days before using for best results.

You can fill canning jars with the fresh giardiniera and store in your refrigerator. When using, simply add your own olive oil and mix together.

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