Chicago Style Giardiniera

Chicago Style GiardinieraEmbarrassing confession: Sometimes I don’t fully read recipes before I start cooking / baking.  I’ll do a ‘skim’ to make sure I have what I need.  Which ends up meaning I’ll be halfway through a recipe when I’ll realize, “Oh, that said baking soda, not powder and I don’t have powder. Crap.” Or, “Oh, I’m doubling that recipe and now I need 1.5 cups of sugar and I barely have a cup. Oops.” And now recently, “Oh, I think I’m making an Italian style Giardiniera but I didn’t even notice there wasn’t any vinegar in the recipe and it’s all oil hmm…”  Yeah, I really need to get better at that.Chicago Style GiardinieraAnyway, I had been snacking on the remainder giardiniera we had left over from the Guinness Candied Bacon Bloody Marys for the guys the morning of Charles and Alicia’s wedding, and I thought, yum. Pickled vegetables. Then thought, duh, this would be so easy to make!  So I grabbed some veggies we had in the fridge and asked Google how to make it.Chicago Style GiardinieraGoogle came back with this. Jeff Mauro’s Homemade Hot Giardiniera. 5 star reviews, quick scan of the ingredients and I have everything except the peppers, no problem. I could live without the peppers. So I filled a large mason jar with water, salt, and a ton of veggies, stuck it in the fridge, and left it until the next day when I made the marinade mixture: canola oil, oregano, and pepper. And then I had the moment. The, uhhh… Where’s the vinegar?!  Crap.  Well, at this point, I was already committed.  So I said can’t turn back now; I’m goin with it.Chicago Style GiardinieraThen we went camping and surfing for the weekend (which was awesome), and my jar of giardiniera did its marinading thing in the fridge while we were gone. Marinading… not pickling.  Because I’m an idiot and can’t read.  Turns out, there’s an Italian style giardiniera, which is pickled and served as an antipasto, and a Chicago style giardiniera which is marinaded and served as a condiment to top sandwiches. Ooooh. Oops. Huh.  Who knew?Chicago Style GiardinieraApparently I do. Now.  Sigh.  Well, once I got past the fact that it wasn’t pickled and that there would be no tangy vinegary flavor, these little veggies were actually quite good. Ok, not a total loss. Although I did wish I had added serrano peppers to make it a hot little mix.  Maybe I’ll add a few peppers and then make an Italian beef sandwich just for this giardiniera.  Maybe I’ll also start fully reading recipes before I start cooking… doubtful. 😉

Chicago Style Giardiniera

Adapted from Jeff Mauro 

    • 1 cup of sliced carrot
    • 1 cup of tiny cauliflower florets
    • 1 cup of tiny cauliflower florets
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 4 cup of salt
    • 1-2 stalks of celery diced
    • 2 cups of canola oil
    • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
    • 4-8 serrano peppers sliced (not added, but should have)

Combine 2 cups water and the salt in a glass or non-reactive bowl. Mix until the salt is dissolved. Add the carrots, cauliflower, garlic, celery, and any other veggies, to the salt water and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2, drain and rinse the vegetables. In a clean bowl, mix together the oil with the oregano and pepper. Add the vegetables and mix to combine. Allow to marinate overnight. Giardiniera will only get better with time. After 2 days at the most in the bowl, you can place in air-tight mason jars and keep in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 weeks.

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