Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Homemade Hot Giardiniera

I'm planning on making some Italian beef sandwiches this week. Jeff Mauro's Giardiniera recipe is part of the the sandwich, but takes 2 solid days to prepare (just marinating time) so I decided to post it separately.

This recipe requires a bit of knife work. Carrots, celery and peppers all need to be finely diced.

I love cutting veggies. I have no problem with this chore, but I know that it takes some time. Look at it as a good chance to practice your knife skills in order to get a great condiment.

Homemade Hot Giardiniera

3 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup small-diced carrots
1 cup tiny cauliflower florets
2 to 8 serrano peppers, sliced (depending on heat level desired. I used 2)
2 Fresno chiles (these add heat, but nowhere near as much as the above. They're more about flavor)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 cups canola oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


We're just going to dice all our veggies and add them to a non-reactive vessel. I used a tupperware container that is leak-proof.




Cauliflower: (I actually did these by hand. I just broke the florets up finely with my fingers.)

Red bell pepper:


Serrano peppers: (I left the seeds and membranes in tact)

Fresno chiles: (I removed the seeds on these)



Seal and shake to combine.

Refrigerate for a day.


On the second day, drain the veggies from the brine.

Rinse well.

Return to the container and add the oregano and pepper.

Add the oil and vinegar and shake to combine.

Let marinate for at least a day.

It gets better as it ages.

I actually tried this straight out of the oil, expecting some heat, but it was mild at best. I'll add more serranos next time. 

Overall, the Giardiniera was awesome. Very fresh. The veggies were crisp and not too salty. The variety of the veggies was great and the flavors of the peppers were complex. Kind of like a vinaigrette with sharp veggies.  

You can use Giardiniera in a lot of different ways. It's used mostly a condiment, so you can top hot dogs, pizza, cold cut sandwiches, muffulettas (with olives), pasta salads, but mostly, it's for Italian beef sandwiches. 


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