This is my version of a mixed vegetable pickle. There are some regions where the vegetables you put in the mix are a very specific combination but, I say add whatever you like the best. This is my preserved vegetable pickle often called Giardiniera in Italian. You can add or omit some chili peppers if you wish to make spicy and it is a combination of vinegar and olive oil, in my case….. lots of GREAT Extra Virgin Olive Oil!!
You will need:
- 3 small carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/3 of a small cauliflower (about 3 cups of florets when they are separated)
- 150 grams or a handful of green beans
- 3-4 fresh or dried small onions (I used both)
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 125 grams of eggplant cut into strips and salted for at least 30 minutes
- 2 chilies – I used a milder Fresno chili which was hot enough for me- you add whatever you prefer!
- 1/2 small bulb of fennel
- 3-4 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
- 1 cup white wine vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
- 15 peppercorns
- couple of big bay leaves
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 cup of water
- 1 bottle 500ml of great extra virgin olive oil- I used Casas D Hualdo Organic
- 3 tsp of dried oregano
- 3 cloves of garlic -sliced
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- some fennel fronds chopped if you like
- 100 grams of olives pitted and chopped.
- 2-3 tbsp of chopped flat Italian parsley (it has better flavor than the curly in my opinion)
Step 1: sterilize 3 x 2 cup preserving jars by washing thoroughly. You can also rinse them with a little vinegar after they are washed. If you have new jars I like to wash them, place them in boiling water for 2 minutes and then rinse with a bit of white vinegar and dry well.
Note* Once you have filled your jars you can pasteurize them by sealing them well with new lids, wrap the jars in tea towels, place in a lar pot filled just above the jars with water. Let come to a boil and then turn down to a medium low boil for 30 minutes. Then allow to cool in the water bath before removing jars. They can then be stored in the cupboard. Once opened they should be stored in the fridge.
Step 2: slice or chop all vegetables in chunks or thin slices of a similar size (I like the look of the thinner finer slices but you can chop them in chunks if you like)
Step 3: in a pot you will add the vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, 3 cloves of garlic, salt and water.
Step 4: in batches you will add the vegetables to cook and soften in the vinegar bath. Then remove with a slotted spoon onto clean towel. Then into a large bowl to dry slightly and cool.
These are approximate times depending on how you slice your veggies, it could be a bit more or less.
Carrots, celery and cauliflower 5-7 minutes
Green beans 4 minutes
Peppers, fresh chilies, fennel and onions 3 minutes
Eggplant 2 minutes
Step 5: add about 1/2 cup of the olive oil just to toss all ingredients in the bowl and then you will top off the rest once in the jars.
Step 6: add the dried oregano, sliced garlic, chili flakes, celery seed, fennel fronds and chopped parsley and toss to combine.
Step 7: carefully fill the jars, pressing down the ingredients trying not to break them while getting the jars filled.
Step 8: using a chop stick you can pour over the great oil and move the veggies to let the oil get in all the cracks. Seal and Pasteurize as described in Step # 1. Or you can just store in the fridge and consume within a few days if you don’t wish to preserve.
Once the jar is opened you may wish to top off with a few more tablespoons of vinegar and you can also add a bit more olive oil.
Any remaining pickle should be stored in the fridge once the jar is opened.
It is natural to have the olive oil solidify when in the fridge so don’t be alarmed. Before eating leave the jar on the counter for a few minutes and it will go back to it’s liquid state. The cold will not harm the oil.