Giardiniera is a cured, spicy, vinegary vegetable mixture that my father in law makes. This year, I helped him make a lot for himself and I made a small batch for me and my husband. You can eat the giardiniera on pasta, bread or just by itself.
To make the giardiniera, start with vegetables. Green tomatoes, carrots, celery, cauliflower and eggplant. It helps to have some long hots too. I like to add them whole.
To begin, cut up all the vegetables into pieces roughly the same size. Then find a bucket. Put the veggies in the bucket layering veggies and coarse sea salt. Weigh the veggies down and cover the bucket. Leave the veggies for 24 hours and then rinse and drain them. Layer the veggies again with salt, weigh them again and leave it alone for a month. The salt cures the vegetables, so they don’t go bad.
Once a month has past, rinse the veggies really, really, really well. I rinsed mine about 3 times, this is where all the salt comes off. Drain in a colander and sprinkle on some white vinegar. Let that mixture sit for about 15-20 minutes.
After about 20 minutes, it’s time to press the vegetables. My father in law has an old press that his father used to use to make his giardiniera. If you’re not lucky enough to have an Italian press, simply add some weight to you vegetables. It’s not an exact science. Simply get as much liquid as you can out of the mixture.
Last thing to do is pack the giardiniera in resealable containers. Pack the veggies in and cover in canola oil. We use Mason jars. It will last forever as long as there is always oil above the vegetables.