Giardiniera (pronounced jar-dih-nair-ah) is an Italian-Amercian condiment of pickled vegetables. Commercial giardiniera is a bit too “vinegary” for my taste, so I created my own blend which is nicely pickled and seasoned but not over-powering. The vegetables are wonderful served “as is” or they can be drizzled with olive oil just before serving. Allow a minimum of 1 week for sufficient pickling.

For the brine, you will need:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped and divided in half
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, divided in half
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, divided in half
  • 3 cups filtered or spring water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 3 T sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 T organic sugar

For the vegetables, you will need:

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 large ribs celery, thickly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced lengthwise into spears
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 12 whole pickled Greek pepperoncini (from a jar)
  • optional: pimento stuffed green olives

You will also need 2 large mason jars (home canning jars) with lids and lid rings (or other suitable glass containers with lids).


Place 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon dried oregano and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes in the bottom of each jar. Set aside.

Prepare the brine by mixing the water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a non-metal container. Stir with a plastic or wooden spoon until the salt and sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pot and blanch the carrots and cauliflower for 1 minute. Drain in a colander.

Divide the vegetables in half (approximately) and begin layering and gently packing them into the 2 jars. Pour in the brine to the top of each jar and seal with the lids. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 week (the longer, the better), turning the jars over occasionally to distribute the seasonings. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and coarse ground black pepper, if desired.

Giardiniera - Gentle Chef House Recipe
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