It’s super easy to make this delicious food using veggies from your own garden

Two jars of freshly made Giardiniera on a table

It’s hard to beat the flavor of your own giardiniera

It’s hard to beat the delicious simplicity of the Italian vegetable mix, giardiniera.

It’s really nothing more than a bunch of fresh veggies chopped up, tossed together, and aged for a bit with vinegar, water, salt and a few spices. But, oh boy, it is tasty!

You can use it as a side dish, toss it in salads, layer it on as a relish on sandwiches (Italian beef anyone?), or just snack on it all by itself.

Here at the Acre we don’t like to let fresh produce go to waste, so we’re always mixing up a batch using whatever vegetables we have an overload of in the garden at the time. Each batch is a slightly different combo, a colorful and flavorful reminder of what was fresh in the garden a short time ago.

What’s in Giardiniera?

Classic Italian giardiniera generally includes cauliflower, carrots, celery, (sweet and/or hot) peppers, and occasionally, onions, olives, or baby cucumbers. The Chicago variety associated with the city’s famed Italian beef sandwich usually includes olives, onion, and red pepper flakes.

Our own giardiniera is usually a freestyle mix of the above (except olives, which we don’t have), and – depending on what’s in the garden – squash, green beans, broccoli, garlic, and even baby corn added in.

How to make Giardiniera

Prep Time: 30 Min.
Additional Time: 2 Weeks
Difficulty: Easy (super easy)

Note: We generally make about two quarts (64 ounces / half a gallon) of giardiniera at a time, so adjust your own quantities accordingly to make the amount you want. Exact proportions aren’t necessary.

Ingredients

  • 1 qt water
  • 1 qt white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Salt

The basic vegetables

  • ½ a head of Cauliflower
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 bell pepper

Optional vegetable (use whatever is available)

  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans (in pod)
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Hot / Spicy peppers (e.g. pepperoncinis)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Olive
  • Baby corn
  • Or any other fresh vegetable you may have that will remain firm in the liquid (i.e., not leafy stuff)

Herbs & Spices

  • 1 Tbsp Whole peppercorn
  • 2 Bay leaves (you need 1 leaf for each jar)
  • 2 Tsp Oregano
  • 2 Tsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Allspice (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Whole coriander (optional)
  • 1 Tsp Fennel Seed (optional)

Directions

Step 1 – Chop the vegetables
Cut your veggies into small chunks. You want to leave them bite-sized (not diced) so they hold on to their crunch in the liquid.

Step 2 – Mix the liquids and heat
Put your vinegar, water and salt into a pot and put it on a medium heat, stirring occasionally.

When all the salt is dissolved, add your herbs and spices (except the bay leaf), and bring the mixture to a boil.

Step 3 – Jar the chopped vegetables
While your mixture is heating, pack your chopped vegetables into jars. Don’t pack them too tightly so it’s easy to remove the airspace when you add the liquid.

Add a bay leaf to each jar.

Step 4 – Add the liquid
Once your liquid comes to a boil, immediately pour the hot liquid into your veggie-packed jars. Leave about 3/4 inch of headspace in the jar (tap the jars with a wooden spoon to get rid of any trapped air bubbles).

Use a slotted spoon to scoop any spices still in the pot and add them to your jars.

When you’re done you should have about 1/2 inch of headspace left. Add a little oil (olive, etc.) to bring the liquid level up to ¼ of headspace.

Step 5 – Seal and wait
Seal your jars tightly.

If you’re going to store them at room temperature, put them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes to be sure they’ll keep properly. If you’re going to store them in the refrigerator, let the jars cool to room temperature and stick them in the fridge.

Wait at least 2 weeks before opening. That’ll let the vegetables pick up the flavor from your pickling liquid and the herbs and spices.

Step 6 – Enjoy!
Your giardiniera is ready!

Enjoy it with your favorite foods. Store the remainder (if there is any) in the refrigerator.

author avatar
Terri Osterfeld
I'm Sage's wife and the real person in charge of Sage's Acre. He gets the yard, I get the house and the kitchen (unless I need him to do something in the house). I love making comfort food and baking, especially bread. I have no special training, but I did raise a herd of children and burned plenty before I perfected my technique. I love the simple, practical and homegrown. I also have a weakness for dachshunds (don't judge!).