Pizza, pasta, prosciutto – we all know the heavyweights of Italian cuisine. But how about Italy’s most prominent pickle?
La giardiniera has been a sustainable pantry staple for nonnas up and down the peninsula for generations. Originating from the northern Po Valley, giardiniera was all about locking in the incredible flavour of excess seasonal veg at peak deliciousness so they could be enjoyed year-round.
So what’s to love? It’s textural, it’s vibrant and it’s a riot of flavour. Thanks to its punchy acidity, a good giardiniera stands up to richer, more robust flavour profiles – so why not go all’italiana and pair your pickle with meat, fish and salami, or go Chicago-style and throw it into a sandwich.
Making a giardiniera couldn’t be simpler – and it’s the perfect activity for two or to do with kids. It’s fully customisable so choose your favourite veg or chop whatever you’ve got hiding in the fridge.
250g assorted veg (cauliflower, carrots, courgettes, peppers, radishes, peas)
2L sterilised jar
500ml white wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
Step 1: Combine your brine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Step 2: Wash your veg, chop them into bite sized pieces and add to your sterilised jar. Pour over the warm pickle brine and close the lid. Leave to cool before putting them in the fridge.
Your giardiniera will be ready to eat once cool but it’s best left for 24 hours before serving. It’ll keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
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