Giardiniera is a flavor-packed recipe that makes a delicious addition to sandwiches, salads, pastas, and more. A unique combination of vegetables and spices marinated in oil and vinegar, it’s savory, spicy, and so incredibly versatile!
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love condiments, and giardiniera is one of my FAVORITES. It’s the perfect topping for sausages, burgers, paninis, and more… and to be honest, I love it so much I even eat it by the spoonful.
If you’ve ever had it, you know what a huge flavor punch it packs. And if you’ve had it more than once, you probably also know that no two varieties are the same! The flavor can be completely different depending on the combination of ingredients you use, and it can range from mild to spicy depending on the peppers.
This recipe falls somewhere in the middle of the spice range. It uses serrano peppers, which are about 3 times hotter than jalapenos, but the other veggies provide a balanced not-too-hot flavor. That said, if you’re a spice lover, you’ll probably want to add more!
There are many different varieties of giardiniera, and the beautiful thing about making your own is that you get to control the ingredients, proportions, and most importantly, spice level. These are the proportions I used:
- 3 c. cauliflower florets
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 c. sliced green olives
- 6 serrano peppers, sliced
- 1/2 c. salt
- 1 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/2 c. white wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
One of my favorite things about this recipe is how EASY it is to make. Aside from chopping the vegetables, it’s really just a matter of letting the mixture marinate… and being patient enough for it to be ready!
- Combine chopped veggies in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour salt over veggies and fill bowl with enough water to cover vegetables completely.
- Cover with a lid and refrigerate 24 hours.
- Drain salt water and rinse well.
- Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano; mix well and pour over vegetable mix in bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate 2 days before using.
🥗 What is Giardiniera?
Giardiniera is an Italian relish made of pickled vegetables in a mixture of vinegar and oil. It is typically eaten as an antipasto or with salads. In the United States, it’s often used as a topping for burgers, brats, bruschetta, hot dogs, or Italian Beef sandwiches. It can also be eaten with pasta.
🌶 Recipe variations
When it comes to giardiniera, there are as many variations as you can think of. You can feel free to experiment with ingredients and quantities to find the combination that best suits your tastes. Here are some ideas:
- For a spicier mix, use more serrano peppers
- Substitute red bell pepper
- Add sliced jalapenos
- Use equal parts oil and vinegar
- Use all oil or all vinegar
- Add additional spices such as dried basil, fennel seed, or bay leaf
🌭 Recipe ideas
Giardiniera adds so much flavor to any recipe, and makes an especially great addition to sandwiches, pizza, salads, and pasta. Add a spoonful or two to any of these recipes for an extra delicious twist!
- Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwiches
- Sausage & Pepper Linguine
- Bruschetta Chicken Alfredo Pizza
- Antipasto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Loaded Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Tuna Salad
- Egg Salad
- 3-Cheese Loaded Italian Salad
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1135mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g