Only thing is, home made giardiniera can be kept for just about 2 weeks, tops!, before you start tempting teh gods o’ bad digestion; because there is simply no easy way for a home canner to preserve veggies in oil.
Truth be told, I’ve had some supposedly commercially processed giardinieras that have seemed to be skating on teh edge.
Then, I found this recipe, which turns all that chopped cauliflower and stuff into a relish kind of thing my grandmother Rachel would’ve called a chop pickle, and I am now calling Ciao! Piccolo – just because I can.
Mine is also a might bit zippier than my grandmother’s would’ve been. See, the original recipe I found called for using 3 to 6 serrano peppers – and I had used six, but removed (most of) the seeds. It was a good relish, almost like a Chow Chow that I used to find at home in Western Massachusetts.
Still, I thought it could use a bit more bite.
Then, I came across this cool deal for a half dozen fresh jalapeños at Trader Joe’s.
Jalapeños are less hot than serranos, so I decided to just slice the buggers and toss ’em into the mix, seeds and all.
•3 cups white vinegar
•1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
•3/4 cup water
•2 tsp pickling salt
•3/4 tsp turmeric
•6 jalapeños, sliced
•1 orange pepper, diced
•1 yellow pepper, diced
•1 head of cauliflower – 4 cups, chopped
•5 carrots, washed, peeled, diced
•4 celery stalks,
plus 5 good-sized bits of celery tops, diced
•2 onions, diced – 3-1/2 to 4 cups
•6 garlic cloves, minced
Combine the sugar, pickling salt, and turmeric with the vinegar and the water in a large (6 to 8 quart) pan and bring to a boil, stirring every now and then. Use a non-reactive pot.
Bring back to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, until the veggie mixture has been thoroughly heated through.
Transfer the veggies and the pickling liquid into prepared canning jars (my next dishwasher will have a sterilization setting) – leaving about 1/2 inch at the top. I ended up with 6 pints in all.
Run a non-metallic thingy down the side of the jars (I used a wooden skewer) to remove any air bubbles, then top the jars with your sterilized lids and screw bands. If you are lost at this point – visit your local hardware store and buy a Ball’s Blue Book.
Pop the sealed jars onto a rack in a boiling water bath and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside to cool. Check that the jars have sealed (gotta love that Blue Book!), and you are good to stash in the pantry until opened.
In true Chicago style – this is great on hot dogs and Italian Beef sammiches; but also quite nice whenever you may want a bit of nicely chopped (& zippy) pickle.