Giardiniera (Pickled Vegetables)

Vegetables in a White Vinegar EVOO Marinade

I’m finally giving in to the reality that winter is coming. I think it was setting the clocks back last weekend that did it. By 5 it’s getting dark now and I’m not sure I like that.

In reaction to shorter days and winter nights I’ve been putting up marinated vegetables for my pantry. I was compelled to make vinegar peppers (peperoni sott’aceto) and eggplant caponata. And I’m about to break into the Giardiniera, a jar of marinated vegetables.

Giardiniera is an¬†Italian kitchen staple. Make up a big batch and keep it in the refrigerator. Giardiniera is a great snack with salumi or cheese. I like it on sandwiches. It’s great on an antipasti platter or even as a side for a roboust star, grilled sausages maybe or even roasted pork.

Cutting up the vegetables takes the most energy. I gotta be honest about making Giardiniera though. You have to brine the vegetables overnight and they have to marinate for a couple of days before they’re ready to eat. Of course, if you’re impatient, you can take a taste or two in the interim.


1 small head cauliflower

1 carrot

1 celery rib

12 pearl onions

12 pitted green olives

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 small serrano or jalapena chile

1 clove  garlic

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup EVOO

1/4 cup sea salt for the brine

Remove the seeds and ribs from the red, yellow and serrano peppers. Cut into 2 inch strips and then 1/2 inch slices.
Cut the celery and carrot in quarters and cut in 1/2 inch slices.
Cut the pearl onion in half.
Cut the cauliflower in quarters and cut out the core and large stem. Break the florets into pieces about the same size of the other vegetables.
Place the green, red and serrano peppers, celery, carrots, onion, and cauliflower in a bowl. Stir the salt into enough water to cover the vegetables and pour the water into the bowl to cover the vegetables completely. Add more water if necessary.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day drain salty water and rinse vegetables well.
Cut the olives in half.
Mix the garlic, oregano, black pepper and olives in a bowl. Pour in vinegar and EVOO and mix well. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and mix well.
Spoon the giardiniera into a liter or quart jar, fill to the top with the oil mixture and seal the jar tightly.
Refrigerate for 2 days before eating.
Gardiniera will keep in the refrigerator of at least 2 weeks.

16 Replies to “Giardiniera (Pickled Vegetables)”

  1. hi Gianni
    Nice little series you have. So down-to-earth!
    I love SF and North Beach, always try to stay somewhere close when I visit.

    I have a couple of questions if its OK

    It’s 1/4 cup sea salt for the brine, but what amount of water. Is to cover enough?

    At the end when the giardiniera goes into the jar, does the marinating dressing go in as well?

    I’ve just made a batch so I may find out the answers for myself in a couple of days!


    1. Ciao JC. Yes, use enough water to cover the vegetables with the brine. And yes, pour the marinating liquid into the jar. I usually fill it up to the top so the vegetables are covered. Thanks for the questions. I’ll clarify the recipe instructions. Let me know how the giardiniera turns out for you.

      Buon appetito!


    2. Made the Giardiniera. Turned out nicely!
      I can’t see it lasting for two weeks in the fridge. Delicious.
      If I have a comment, it is that I might have made it a bit too oily with 50/50 oil/vinegar – maybe 40/60, next batch
      Anyway delicious, easy, I might make double quantity next time, maybe add some mustard seeds, try other vegetables.


      1. Ciao John. Make more so you’ll have it in the fridge for a while. Make sure there’s enough marinade in the jar to fully cover the vegetables. Make the recipe your own. Less oil, mustard seeds, have it your way.

        Buon appetito!


  2. Have you ever canned your Giardiniera? Pressure or Hot water bath? And if so how does the veggies hold up to the canning process?

  3. Gianni, can one substitute apple cider vinegar for the white wine vinegar which is quite expensive? Do you know where to get the white wine vinegar in larger bottles?

  4. Beautiful!
    I love it.
    My preferred process is to lactoferment this by adding salt and a culture, be it veggie culture, whey or even a bit of sauerkraut juice. Natural lactic acid is produced to provide the sourness. The benefit being the creation of a host of probiotic friendlies.
    The flavor is noticeably different, a bit more earthy, wild, lively- a but funky really. Careful attention must be used though, sealing one of those Fido style jars could cause a small explosion! Various techniques remedy this.

    Thanks Gianni for all you do. I am a huge fan.

  5. ….swooning……mmmmmm……but does this make just one quart jar? I will surely need more— for eating and gifting…..

  6. Well this is all prepared and in jars. I have to tell you it looks like a party in a jar and it makes my kitchen smell like gradpa’s. bellisimo ! I also prepared some preserved mushrooms for the winter months. Now, i have one more request. you had mentioned that you also prepared the eggplant caponata. Do you have this posted somewhere, I did not see it . I have a recipe, but it lacks something so I was hoping to try yours. Mille Grazi for all you share and do. Ciao

    1. Brava Susan. The marinade for giardiniera is great for other vegetables too. It’s perfect for mushrooms as you discovered. I hope the ones you made turn out well.

      I’ll post my caponata recipe soon. It’s easy and delicious.

  7. Ok, I am drooling. I love Giardiniera, but do not like the store bought stuff. Yours look so beautiful and fresh.
    So I am offf to the market for ingredients !! I will let you know how they turn out.

    1. Ciao Susan. You’re gonna love this. No preservatives or other off-tasting ingredients, just the full flavor of the vegetables in a great marinade. Buon appetito!

  8. Gianni, for both this and the pickled peppres, do you have any instructions for canning rather than refrigeration??

    1. Ciao Steve.
      I’m not a canning expert. Haven’t done it since I was a kid helping my Aunt Florence when she put up mushrooms Uncle Frank foraged in the Eagle Rock area of northern Jersey each fall. That’s why I do smaller batches I can keep refrigerated for the time it will take me to eat them all up. There are lots of canning sites that can be useful. Here’s one.

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