Giardiniera is great to prepare ahead and have available. It can be a perfect vegetable side or a fabulous snack.
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
2 bay leaves
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 cups (3-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
1 1/2 cups green beans, trimmed (about 8 ounces)
1 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot
1 cup red bell pepper strips
6 green onion bottoms, trimmed
4 garlic cloves, halved
How to Make It
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Arrange cauliflower and remaining ingredients in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Carefully pour vinegar mixture over cauliflower mixture.
Seal bag and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Remove vegetables from bag with a slotted spoon. Discard bay leaves.
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Good crisp veggies - super convenient for company since the dish can be made completely ahead of time. Omit the green onions and garlic - they have too much of a bite, since they are never cooked but only pickled in the vinegar! Overall, this is much less vinegary and salty than commercial giardiniera, which is a good thing. Also great at dinner with pork and mashed potatoes, which cut the bite from the vinegar.
I did not care for this recipe. It was too stong with vinegar and the vegies were too crisp. To make it more acceptable to my taste, I microwaved the dish for a good 6-7 min before serving to "cook" the vegetbables. I also added some sugar to "tame" the vinegar.