Whenever I’m at an Italian place that offers an antipasto buffet or salad bar, I look for the giardiniera. It’s that spicy pickled vegetable concoction that usually includes carrots, cauliflower, and green beans, and always has some kind of pepper. I recently finished off a big jar of jalapeños, and thought I’d try to make some giardiniera in the refrigerator. It worked great, and here’s the recipe!
Makes 2 quarts. Prep time 20 minutes. Total time 2 weeks.
- Jalapeño juice (a half-gallon jar of sliced jalapeños should yield about 1 quart of liquid)
- 12 oz frozen cut green beans
- 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets and washed
- 2 carrots, washed, peeled, and sliced thin
- 1 bell pepper, washed, cored, and diced
- White balsamic vinegar to top off (white balsamic is mild and sweet-tart; Trader Joe’s has a good one)
- Place all vegetables in the jar of jalapeño juice – pack them in firmly. Top off with vinegar if necessary.
- Place in refrigerator.
- Shake vigorously once a day, for 2 weeks.
- Open and enjoy as a snack or antipasto.
This version is medium-spicy. You can punch it up by adding pepperoncini or cherry peppers. Or you can make it more mild by removing some of the jalapeno juice and adding extra vinegar and a quarter-cup of sugar.