giardiniera, Chicago-style

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recipe from the Chicago Tribune, of course, with minor changes by me...of course.

giardiniera in Italy is more of an antipasto. in Chicago, it's a condiment that tops every sandwich, especially Italian beef. me, i like that it's pickled and good for just munching with say an omelette or a baked potato or anything else that needs more texture and/or zest.

yields: about a gallon/4 liters
Ingredients
brine
8 jalapeƱos (or serrano peppers), sliced thickly
2 each, diced: red and yellow bell peppers, carrot, yellow onion, celery rib
1/4 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1/2 c salt
marinade
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
freshly ground black pepper
1.5 c white vinegar
2.5 c vegetable oil
 
Directions
1. combine the jalapeƱos, bell peppers, celery, carrot, onion and cauliflower in the biggest bowl you've got; stir in the salt. add cold water to cover vegetables; cover bowl. refrigerate 12 hours.
2. drain salt water; rinse vegetables. set aside in the bowl.
3. combine the garlic, olives, oregano, red pepper flakes, celery seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper to taste in a medium bowl.
4. pour the vinegar into the seasoning bowl and whisk. slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until completely emulsified.
5. pour over your vegetable mixture; toss lightly. divide up into glass jars.

topping off:
if there's not enough marinade, add a 3:5 mix of vinegar and oil to top off container.
6. refrigerate at least 48 hours before using. the giardiniera will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 weeks, if they last that long. the longer that you let it pickle for, the more intense the flavor.
 
Notes:
safety first:
first off, since giardiniera is highly acidic, botulism is not really a problem. if you are still worried, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation. click here for info about how to properly sterilize your containers and how to select them. highly recommend checking out their site, as the research is scientifically-backed so you can be assured that it's not untested misinformation.

The Paupered Chef mentions that the vinegar and oil should play a more muted role, so switched regular white distilled for the apple cider vinegar and a neutral vegetable oil for the olive oil (actually rethinking that olive oil might be better even if it does get coagulated; apple cider definitely a bad taste match). possibly reduce vinegar to 3/4 and hope the oil/vinegar mixture doesn't separate and remains emulsified.

need to add some banana peppers! possibly 5/6 would be good...and just more peppers. my man wants less cauliflower.
Categories:
Cuisine   ItalianDish   Side Dish
Prep Time   less than 15 minutes 
Features   Dairy-Free, Low-Calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian




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