I am a big fan of bold flavors and Todd is a fan of anything hot. I swear, he puts jalapenos on just about everything. On our last trip to the farmers market I was inspired by all of the beautiful produce and wanted to make a dish that was as colorful and plentiful as the market. I decided that my homemade hot giardiniera was the perfect choice. It takes a little planning since this recipe takes 2 days to make but it is totally worth it! You can use this recipe to top just about anything. This week we have used it in salads, on pizzas, in pasta, on top of our veggie burgers, in an omelette and by itself as a snack. You are really only limited to your imagination. This little gem of a recipe is gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, nut free and packed with flavor like you wouldn’t believe!
Hot Giardiniera: makes 3-4 cups
1 cup carrots, diced small
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped into tiny florets
4-8 serrano peppers, sliced thin ( I usually use 6 for a medium heat but, if you like it really hot use all 8)
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, diced small
2 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 3/4 cup Canola oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
Combine 2 cups water with the kosher salt in a glass or non-reactive bowl. Mix well until the salt has dissolved. Prepare vegetables by washing well and slice or dice very small. I like to use my mandolin for this so that I can keep all of the cuts consistent but you can use a knife. Add the carrots, cauliflower, serranos, celery and bell pepper to the salt water and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate over night.
Drain and rinse the vegetables well under cold water to remove some of the excess salt. In a separate bowl combine the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, basil and black pepper. Add the vinegar to the bowl and stir until combined. Slowly whisk in all of the oil. Place vegetables into canning jars and top with the oil and vinegar mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 48 hours so that the flavors have a chance to marry. The giardiniera will last 2-3 weeks in your refrigerator.
* If you would like more of a pickled flavor change the oil and vinegar portions to 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup canola oil. If you would rather not have a pickled flavor at all use 2 cups canola oil and omit the vinegar.*