Giardiniera is the perfect relish of pickled vegetables. The kicker? This quick pickling recipe is ready in just 24 hours, but can stay fresh for weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator.
What is Giardiniera?
Giardiniera is an Italian pickle relish packed full of bright and colorful veggies. The usual suspects are carrots, cauliflower, and peppers. The flavor profile can be described as vinegary and herby.
Like many Italian recipes, there is an American interpretation and it hails from the Chicago area. Chicago style giardiniera differs from Italian-style as it rarely contains vinegar. Instead, it’s made primarily of olive oil and herbs. You’ll find this condiment sprinkled throughout the Windy City and at eateries known for Italian-style street and comfort food.
This giardiniera recipe (which leans closer to Italian-style) has been in my family for over 15 years. It’s so darn good and we have it at almost every single family party.
Vegetables That Are Good for Pickling
Not interested in the veggies I use? That’s perfectly okay! This recipe is super versatile and you can get creative. Find a couple substitutes below and mix and match them as you please:
- Crimini Mushrooms
- Yellow Squash
- Artichoke hearts
Hot Tip: This tip is literally hot. If you like things spicy, add in more red pepper flakes and jalapeños. Adjust as you see fit.
How Long Giardiniera Lasts
The best part about giardiniera is that it is quick to whip up and lasts so long when stored properly. Snag a handful of mason jars and store the giardiniera with the lid screwed tight and the salad will last for up to two weeks. Ensure your veggies are submerged in pickling liquid for as long as possible to keep them fresh.
How To Make Giardiniera
Pickling doesn’t have to be hard. This quick pickling recipe makes it easy. Follow the instructions below to get crisp and crunchy veggies each and every time:
- Gather and clean your veggies.
- Dice all the veggies into similar sized pieces. Mix them together in a large bowl.
- Combine together water, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to boil and pour over veggies.
- Let the veggies marinate for at least 24 hours.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
How Do I Serve Giardiniera?
From Italian beef sandwiches to hot dogs to roast beef, this relish pairs perfectly with rich and savory foods. Also, if you are a fan of charcuterie boards this relish is a great addition. I always like to have a jar stowed away in the back of my fridge for last minute guests and get-togethers.
Giardiniera is also the perfect ingredient to up-level salads or sandwiches. I’ll toss it straight into a classic garden salad or pop it on a grinder sandwich for a pop of tanginess.
More Pickled Vegetables
Love everything pickled and crunchy? Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- Pickled Mushrooms – Pickled mushrooms go great with any beef straight off the grill. Slice them up and pop them on burgers or serve on top of steak.
- Quick Pickled Beets – Use them for salad or soup.
- Pickled Jalapenos – From tacos to pizza, there’s never a bad occasion for pickled jalapeños.
- Pickled Onions – Pop them on a steak sandwich or on carne asada tacos.
- Gather and clean all your veggies for pickling.
- Dice all the vegetables into same-sized pieces. I like to stick to around one-inch in size. Mix vegetables together in a large dish. Preferably something that you can cover with a lid for marinating.
- Into a small saucepan, combine together water, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring the sauce to a boil and pour the sauce over the prepared vegetables.
- Let the vegetables marinade for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can place them in mason jars or other airtight containers.
- When stored properly, the relish will last for up to two weeks.