If you were to come to my house and open my refrigerator, you would see no fewer than twelve different types of pickles. I love them all: spicy, half-sour, Asian, Italian—you name it, I typically have it. Giardiniera, the classic Italian pickled veggie mix that is a staple of Midwestern sub shops, is always present, for the reason that it combines several of my favorite pickles into one delicious mix. This recipe takes a traditional giardiniera and amps it up with carrot seeds, boquerones (Spanish pickled white anchovies), salsify, and romanesco.
- Wash the glass container in hot, soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Pour the wine into the container. Cover the container’s opening with cheesecloth, securing it with a rubber band, to keep out debris.
- Let the container sit in a cool, dry, and dark place for 2 weeks. Then, give the wine a taste; if it’s sharp, tangy, and sour (like other vinegars you’ve had), it’s now vinegar. (It’s perfectly okay to taste; no pathogens can survive in either the alcohol or the vinegar.) If you prefer, you can also judge the progress of your vinegar by using pH strips; we shoot for a reading of 4 or below on the pH scale (see page 234).
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, salt, sugar, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, carrot seeds, chili powder, peppercorns, and boquerones. Bring the pickling liquid to a simmer and then turn off the heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the romanesco, carrots, salsify, bell pepper, celery, chiles, and garlic and stir to mix.
- Pack the mixture into two 1-quart mason jars until it reaches the shoulders of the jars, about 1⁄2 inch from the lip. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables, being sure to cover the vegetables completely. Put the lids on the jars and transfer to the refrigerator.
- After 3 days, in a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and fresh oregano. Open the jars, pour half of the herbed oil into each, and then replace the lids. The giardiniera is now ready to eat and will keep, refrigerated, indefinitely.
Reprinted with permission from House of Vinegar by Jonathon Sawyer, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography credit Peter Larson © 2018