I do enjoy a nice giardiniera, but our traditional, Chicago-style, condiment is, while wicked tasty, packed in oil and so unsuitable for home canning – which means that if I make two gallons of the stuff, I need to use it up in about two weeks (!)
I like me some giardiniera, but not that much.
It was with joy, then, that I came across this recipe for a giardiniera-like combination that is packed in vinegar, and so cannable.
We enjoy this on our beer-braised sausages, but my sister and her buds are kinda partial to using it as a kindofa salsa, and they had long-since gone through the last batch I’d shipped East for the holidays, so while Dale was here on the edge o’ the prairie for a visit, I thought I might as well save on shipping charges and put up a batch to send back with her.
•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 red pepper, diced
•1 orange pepper, diced
•1 yellow pepper, diced
•1 head of cauliflower, chopped
•5 carrots, washed, peeled, diced
•6 celery stalks, plus tops, diced
•2 onions, diced
•6 garlic cloves, minced
Note: you can make your Ciao! Piccolo as hot or mild as you like – I normally seed half of the jalapeños to make a moderate pickle with just a bit of a bite, but feel free to go all in if you prefer. I’ve also been known to just chop up a bag or two of mixed small red, yellow, and orange peppers instead of just using one (large) of each.
Bring the vinegar, sugar, water, pickling salt, and turmeric to a boil in a large non-reactive pot, stirring every now and then.
Boil for five minutes, then add the veggies, bring back to a boil and simmer for another five minutes. Don’t worry when you first add the veggies – it’ll look as though you don’t have enough liquid – but the salt and the cooking process will release a ton of water from the veggies.
Pack into prepared canning jars – be sure to cover the veggies with the pickling liquid and leave about 1/2 inch head space in each jar. Run a wooden skewer (or any non-metallic utensil) down the inside of each jar to remove any air bubbles and settle the contents.
Process for 15 minutes, then cool on a wire rack and stash in your pantry – this batch yielded 4-1/2 pints with just a bit extra I just stuck in the fridge.
I sent four pints home with my sister, but we enjoyed that extra bit on some nicely grilled linguiça for dinner, and I have the half-pint in reserve until I get to making another batch for myself.