How to Prepare Mixed Italian Antipasto Garden Pickle at Home; Giardinieri


How to Prepare Mixed Italian Antipasto Garden Pickle at Home; Giardinieri

The beauty of this recipe is that it uses up a little of this and a little of that, perfect for people with small gardens who may not have bushels of any one vegetable at any given time.

The vegetables included here are traditional for this style of pickle, but the truth is you can use whatever is coming in from your garden (or in season at the farmers’ market).

The extra-virgin olive oil on top of the giardinieri is there more as a flavouring than a preserving factor.

The pickles pass through the oil as you take them out of the jar, which leaves them glistening and even more flavourful than they would be without that unctuous touch.

But the oil will congeal at refrigerator or cold storage temperatures, so be sure to let the jar and its ingredients come to room temperature to re-liquefy the oil before serving.

Ingredients you need

  • Cauliflower
  • Stalks celery
  • Red or yellow bell pepper
  • Carrots
  • Yellow or white onion
  • White wine or white distilled vinegar (the wine vinegar has better flavor, but either will show off the colors of the vegetables)
  • Water
  • Medium-grain Sea salt
  • Sugar or Honey
  • Cloves, garlic, peeled
  • Hot chile pepper pricked with the tip of a knife (optional)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Black peppercorns
  • Bay leaf
  • Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil

How it is done.

  • Wash the cauliflower, celery, and bell pepper.
  • Cut out the stem and solid core of the cauliflower and break the rest up into florets that are about an inch thick (a little more is fine).
  • Remove the stem as well as the seeds and any white pith from the pepper.
  • Slice the celery into 1-inch pieces.
  • Slice the bell pepper either into 1-inch pieces or into
  • Wash and peel the carrots, then chop them into 1-inch
  • Peel the onion and cut it in half, into ¼-inch thick
  • Put the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar or honey into a large pot.
  • Bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar or honey.
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the brine.
  • When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat.
  • Put the garlic, hot chile pepper (if using), mustard seeds, and whole black peppercorns into a clean glass quart jar.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to the jar.
  • Tuck in the bay leaf and the sprig of thyme (if using) as you add the vegetables, they look nice if pressed up against the sides of the jar.
  • Pour the hot brine into the jar.
  • The vegetables and spices should be completely covered by the liquid, but there should still be ¾ inch head space between the surface of the food and the rim of the jar.
  • Pour the extra-virgin olive oil on top of the other ingredients.
  • Add just enough oil to completely coat the surface of the brine.
  • Secure the jar’s lid, and put the jar into the refrigerator or cold storage.
  • Wait at least a week for the flavors to develop before sampling.


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