Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables)

Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables)

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 4 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
58 Calories
1g Fat
11g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 58
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 962mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 3g
Calcium 64mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Giardiniera–or mixed pickled vegetables–are usually referred to in Italy simply as sottaceti, literally meaning "under vinegar." They often appear as part of a standard Italian antipasto misto, and they also work very well with boiled meats in the winter months.

It would be better to store it in several smaller jars, rather than one large one because the contents of an open jar lose their freshness. Select jars with lids that seal well and (optional, but handy) the little plastic mesh depressors that keep the contents of a jar submerged.

This recipe does not require processing in a hot water bath because the vinegar-brine solution is all that's necessary in this case to preserve the vegetables; be sure to use a good-quality vinegar for the best results.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart/1 liter white wine vinegar (plus more, as needed)
  • 1 to 2 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 medium-sized head cauliflower
  • 10 ounces/250 grams pearl onions (peeled and soaked in cold water for 1 hour)
  • 10 ounces/250 grams carrots (peeled and cut into rounds or sticks)
  • 10 ounces/250 grams celery (stripped of filaments and cut into small chunks)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables) ingredients

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  2. Pour the vinegar into a large, non-reactive pot (such as stainless steel, glass, or enameled cast iron—do not use an aluminum or uncoated iron or cast-iron pot to avoid unpleasantly metallic-tasting pickles). 

    vinegar in a pot

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  3. Set pot over high heat and add the bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and salt, and bring to a boil.

    vinegar, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, and salt in a pot

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  4. Separate the cauliflower into florets.

    cauliflower cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  5. When the vinegar comes to a boil, add the cauliflower, onions, carrots, and celery. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

    add the cauliflower, onions, carrots, and celery to the vinegar mixture

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables to the sterilized jars and pour the hot vinegar over them. (Have more boiling-hot vinegar handy in case you need more to top off the jars.)

    vegetables in the vinegar mixture in jars

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  7. Seal the jars tightly and let them cool.

    Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables) in jars

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  8. Store them in the refrigerator for up to one month. The longer they sit, the more robust the flavor will become.

    Giardiniera (Italian Pickled Vegetables) in jar, in the refrigerator

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Tip

  • Italian-American versions, rather than being eaten alone or as part of a mixed antipasto platter, are often used as condiments for other dishes, such as sandwiches and hot dogs, and are often made spicier with the addition of hot chile peppers.

Recipe Variation

  • The vegetables listed in this recipe are the standard, most common ones, but you can add other things to suit your taste, for example, mushrooms, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, hot peppers, or artichoke hearts. Feel free to experiment with the spices as well—mustard seeds, for example, would work well in this recipe.