Giardiniera is an Italian pickle made of mixed vegetables that are typically preserved in oil or vinegar. This recipe for fermented giardiniera uses fermentation to preserve the vegetables instead. It is an easy, no-cook, and zero-waste recipe.
This savory blend of vegetables can be spicy (with chili peppers) or mild (without). However you like it, fermented giardiniera looks beautiful, sounds sophisticated, and tastes delizioso!
How to Serve Giardiniera
Like most pickled vegetables there are a ton of ways to serve giardiniera. My kids particularly love mild fermented giardiniera, so I can pretty much pull out a jar whenever I want them to snack on some vegetables! However, there are other serving options.
- It is often served as an antipasto or with a cheeseboard.
- Stick a jar on the table for a simple vegetable side dish or condiment.
- A Chicago-style sandwich filling.
- Serve it at a BBQ for hot dogs or hamburgers.
- Quick topping for pasta or pizza.
- Mix it into a pickled vegetable potato salad.
Fermented giardiniera can be made as a quick fermented pickle. Or it can be stored in a cool location, to ferment for up to 6 months.
If you want to store your fermented vegetables for longer than a few weeks, there are a few extra precautions that you need to take.
- Be sure that your jars are clean and sanitized.
- Use a jar that will allow gas to escape while preventing contamination. I’m a big fan of fido jars. You could also use a mason jar with an airlock or pickle pipe.
- Don’t use a starter. Salt is the best way to control a long-term ferment. Here’s how to calculate a good brine ratio for long ferments. You will need about 1 tablespoon of salt per quart-sized jar.
- Store fermented giardiniera in a cool, dark location. A garage or basement is perfect. In my urban townhouse, I stash ferments in a cool-ish closet.
- Since the vegetables will be providing the culture, try to include some farm-fresh vegetables.
Fermented Giardiniera: Italian Pickled Vegetables
Giardiniera is a delicious way to preserve summer’s bounty. These Italian-style fermented vegetable pickles can be made hot or mild. Serve them as antipasti, with cheese and crackers or use it as a delicious sandwich filling.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 quart jars 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 small cauliflower or half a cauliflower, diced into bite-sized sections (about 3 cups)
- 2 sweet peppers, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced in half
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2–4 hot peppers, thinly diced (optional)
- 2 Tbsp salt (non-iodized)
- 3 cups water, enough to cover (chlorine-free)
- Wash and prepare all the vegetables as instructed.
- Mix the vegetables and salt in a large bowl.
- Divide the vegetables between 2 quart-sized jars. Add in the herbs. Everything should be tightly packed in, and it’s easiest to do this by hand.
- Pour water into the jars, making sure all the vegetables are below the brine. Use a weight to keep the vegetables submerged.
- Leave the jar to ferment in a dark location (a kitchen cupboard is perfect) for 3-7 days. See the section above for advice on how to safely ferment giardiniera for up to 6 months.
- Feel free to use any combination of these vegetables. Or try adding in other firm vegetables like radishes or green beans. This is truly a garden mix, so use what is in your garden!
- Feel free to reduce the salt to 2 tsp per jar and use 1/4 cup of starter liquid per jar. I usually use cultured apple cider vinegar as my starter, but you could also use other fermented vegetable brine.
Keywords: vegan, gluten free, keto, paleo, whole 30, probiotic, spring, summer, fall, antipasti, salad, hot, mild, zero-waste, no-cook