Spicy Chop Pickle (Ciao! Piccolo)

PIcklesHipBestbfLOI made, and LOVED, the giardiniera recipe offered by the Sandwich King on Food Network; but there is no good way for a home canner to process an oil-based veggie pickle kind of thing, and the shelf life of a typical batch is approximately two weeks – which is not a lot of time for a heckuva lot of giardiniera – so I went hunting for options.

Kitchen Jam, from around or about Syracuse, NY, offered the closest looking solution, though I made a few tiny adjustments to suit my tastes.

SerranosNicebfLOFive pints later – well, 2 pint and 6 half-pint jars – I have my shelf-stable kinda sorta giardiniera. I went a bit heavy on the serranos – six – and added a half-dozen chopped garlic cloves as well, just to give it some of that traditional giardieniera oomph.

How is it?

CanningJarsCool01bfLOWell, it’s not giardiniera. But it’s not too bad as a relish. And it’s also not too, too spicy – those serranos offer up just a hint of heat and keep the pickle from being too sweet – always a good thing when I plan – as I am with this batch – to offer up the results as gifts for folk who may not look upon spicy condiments as kindly as do I. Still, NEXT batch gets an even dozen serranos, and mebbe a dusting of crushed red pepper.

Feel like making pickles? Good.

CauliflowerCutbfLOWash your canning jars, lids, and bands, then pop the jars and lids in pots of boiling water to sterilize (I use a big enamelware stock pot with a cake rack in the bottom for the jars). Leave them in the boiling water and prepare your chop pickle.

•3 cups white vinegar
•1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
•3/4 cup water
•2 tsp pickling salt
•3/4 tsp turmeric
PicklingLiquidFirstBoil01bfLO•1 cup diced carrots
•1 cup diced celery
•4 cups cauliflower florets, chopped
•1 green bell pepper, diced – about 1-1/2 cup
•1 red bell pepper, diced – about 1-1/2 cup
•6 serrano peppers, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
•1 yellow onion, diced – about 2 cups
•1 sweet onion, diced, about 2 cups
•5 cloves garlic, diced

Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt, and turmeric together in a tall 8 quart pot.

VeggiesPicklingLiquidbfLOBring to a boil over high heat and boil for 4 minutes – the mixture will change from this bright yellow, kind of milky appearance to a clear golden color as the solids dissolve.

Tip your prepared veggies into the bubbling pot and return the whole thing to a boil.

Lower the heat a bit and let the whole thing simmer for five minutes.

PicklesOverviewbfLOArrange your sterilized canning jars close to the pot, fill with the veggies, then cover with the pickling liquid, leaving about 1/2 inch head space in each jar.

Run a non-metal utensil around the inside edge of each jar to eliminate air bubbles, then wipe any spills from the jar tops and threads. Add the lids, then tighten the bands – Kitchen Jam uses the term “finger tip tight” which I think is perfect.

WaterbathbfLOProcess the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes – again, I use that enamelware stock pot with the cake rack in the bottom so the jars don’t rest directly on the pan bottom.

Remove your finished jars o’ chop pickle to a rack to cool and check the seal – there should be no ‘click’ when you press on the center of the lids.


Discounting one jar for me – I had to sample the the finished product – I now have 7 jars of chop pickle goodness to share at the holidays – not bad for an afternoon’s work.

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