One of the first places recommended to us when we moved to Boston was Russo’s – a top grocery destination in Watertown. They have every piece of produce you can think of, as well as homemade breads, local cheeses, and prepared desserts. And the prices are very reasonable.
This spring at Russo’s I picked up a tub of something called Giardiniera because it looked like pickled veggies, and hey, I love anything pickles. This stuff was awesome! Sour and spicy and crisp. A little googling and I found a description:
Giardiniera is an Italian or Italian-American relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. Italian giardiniera is also called “sotto aceti”, which means “under vinegar”, a common term for pickled foods. It is typically eaten as an antipasto or with salads.
I guess there’s a Chicago version that’s spicier and oilier and used as a sandwich condiment. Read’s tried it and says it’s good. I wanted to make the Russo’s kind though, so I found a recipe for homemade giardiniera on The Parsley Thief.
I changed the recipe slightly by adding more hot peppers and by boiling the vinegar/water/salt solution prior to pouring it into the jars. The pre-boiling is how I make fridge pickles, and I think it helps give the veggies an extra infusion of flavor without sacrificing crispness.
Easy Italian Giardiniera
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 bunch of fresh carrots
1 head of cauliflower
1 bunch fresh dill
8 cloves garlic
a dozen small dried hot peppers
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
6 tablespoons pickling salt
1. Chop up and wash assorted veggies.
2. Wash and dry 8 pint mason jars (I reused a couple Claussen jars too). Drop 1 clove of garlic, a couple sprigs of dill, and 2-3 dried hot peppers into each jar.
3. Pack jars full of chopped veggies.
4. Boil vinegar, water, and salt over the stove. Ladle into jars and seal. Let the jars cool and then store them in the fridge.
We were supposed to wait a week before breaking into the stash, but I only lasted 12 hours. Mmmm this stuff is really tasty! I just eat it out of the jar. I think it would be good alongside something hot and oily like french fries, but then again, I think about everything is good with french fries.
I will sign off here with some furry cuteness. It’s cooled off enough that we can rely on box fans and open windows again. Edith watches the neighbors’ comings and goings from the kitchen.