Giardiniera is a popular Italian antipasto and topping made from an assortment of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. Between 1880-1914, many Italians immigrated to the United States and settled in the Chicago area. Giardiniera was one of the foods that the Italians brought with them to Chicago, although the Chicago-style giardiniera is different from the traditional Italian style. This particular version is considered a “hot mix”, using spicy peppers and additional spices like oregano, garlic, and red chili flakes rather than solely oil and vinegar. Use this versatile condiment on bratwurst, burgers, pasta salad, bruschetta, hot dogs, sandwiches, pizzas, salads, or in scrambled eggs or tuna salad. It’s incredibly flavorful and healthy, and it’s a wonderful condiment to have on hand at all times.
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
15 fresh serrano peppers, sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup fresh cauliflower florets
1 large carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup diced green olives with pimentos
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil
In a large bowl, combine the peppers (bell and serrano), celery, cauliflower, carrot, and onion. Sprinkle the salt all over the vegetables and mix well. Cover the vegetables with cold water. Refrigerate overnight, covered.
The next day, take out the vegetables. Drain and rinse them.
In a separate bowl, combine the minced garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and olives. Whisk in the vinegar and olive oil. Pour this mixture over the vegetable mixture and mix well. Allow to marinade in the fridge, covered, for a minimum of two days before eating. The giardiniera can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for two to three weeks.
*Picture courtesy of http://www.collabkitchen.com