Spicy Giardiniera (Giardiniera Piccante) Recipe | PBS Food

Spicy Giardiniera (Giardiniera Piccante)

Start this at least 24 hours before you want to serve it to allow the pickling process to penetrate all of the vegetables. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, and is good served on an antipasto table, or tossed in a green salad or with tomatoes. I also like to chop it up and use it as a condiment for heroes or other sandwiches. A little giardiniera juice also adds a kick to a Bloody Mary, and you can use the vegetables whole as a garnish if you wish.

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Yield: Makes 3 quarts



  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 large red bell pepper, halved crosswise, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-thick strips
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 2-by-½-inch-thick sticks
  • 3 stalks celery, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces on the bias
  • 1 small red onion, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and slivered lengthwise
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • ⅓ cup coarse sea salt or kosher
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds


  1. In a very large glass or ceramic bowl, toss together the cauliflower, bell pepper, carrots, celery, red onion, jalapeños, bay leaves, and garlic. Sprinkle with the coarse salt, and toss well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, drain and rinse the vegetables very well. Pack them tightly into three sterilized quart jars, distributing the bay leaves and garlic equally among the jars.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the cider vinegar, 3 cups water, the sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and fennel seeds. Bring to a simmer, and simmer 1 minute. Slowly pour the liquid over the vegetables in the jars, distributing the spices evenly among the jars.
  4. Carefully tap the jars on the counter to remove any air bubbles, screw the lids on, and let cool completely.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve—at least 24 hours and up to 2 weeks.
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