Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Johanna from The Passionate Cook is hosting this edition of Waiter, There's something in My... and selected the theme of Savoury Preserve.

As I would be in Italy by the time this event finishes I've decided to think ahead and make that ultimate Italian Pickle - Giardiniera.


Giardiniera is a staple on antipasto platters - a mix of vegetables preserved in a vinegar based liquid. Its aim is to preserve vegetables at the peak of their season, the crunch in the vegetables a nod to their freshness.

There's no hard and fast ingredient list but you normally find things such as cauliflower, onion, carrot, beans and peas, red capsicum, celery and zucchini to name but a few. The preserving liquid is basically made from 2 parts white wine vinegar to 1 part water to which sugar and salt are added to create a balanced brew. Seasoning such as peppercorns and bay leaf are also used.

The best part is that its pretty much read to eat once you've made it.



1 fennel, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
4 small white onions, cut into eights
2 carrots, peeled and cut at the diagonal
2 celery stalks, cut at the diagonal
½ cauliflower, cut into even sized florets
2 parts white wine vinegar
1 part water

Place the white wine vinegar and water into a large pot and heat it. Add sugar and salt and stir until it dissolves - taste and then adjust the seasoning levels.

Once you have prepared the vegetables add them into the liquid according to their cooking time - the harder vegetables go in first, the softest go in last. Simmer until they have softened slightly but still retain a bit of crunch.

When they are ready pour into preserving jars and seal.

They should keep in a cool spot or you could eat them once they have cooled completely.

In case this recipe isn't authentic enough then here's a photo taken yesterdy of real Italian pickles at Eataly in Turin



  1. Something about giadiniera.. always sounds too close to giardia for me! Hehe..

    Great looking pickles though. I have a weakness for pickled products.

  2. Great photos. You are amazing the way you prepared these posts in advance so you can keep up the blog and still enjoy your vacation. Hope you're having a lot of great adventures.

  3. At first glance, I thought those shelves of pickled items was your pantry, and I was instantly super-envious, wondering how I could be such a failure and not myself have an equally amazing pantry.

    Then I realized it was not. Phew.

  4. stunning pics as always! mee too, i almost fainted for a second wen i though those were your shelves!!

  5. terrific! that sends me right back to fondues at new years when my parents used to open a large jar like this as an accompaniment for the meats... i didn't like the cauliflour much back then, but i love it now! thanks for partcipating!

  6. Thanks Y!

    Thanks Kalyn - it's been a most interesting time and hopefully thing will settle down a bit now.

    That's too small to be my pantry Kevin ;)

    Thanks Aria - there's a lot to faint over at Eataly.

    Thanks Johanna - glad to see you've seen the charms of cauliflower.

  7. That is a real nice pic with alllll those yummy looking pickles. Great idea. I myself am hosting an event that is dedicated to giving food as a present. I would love you to have a look and maybe you could come up with something?

  8. Thanks Zuzana - I'll see what I can come up!


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