Chicago Style Hot Giardiniera Recipe

Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe


Chicago style hot giardiniera is a zesty, tangy condiment that adds a burst of flavor to any dish. It’s typically made with a mix of sliced vegetables like serrano peppers, bell peppers or jalapenos, celery, carrots, and cauliflower, all marinated in a blend of vinegar, olive oil, and an assortment of herbs and spices. This vibrant and colorful mix is perfect for topping Italian beef sandwiches, pizzas, adding a spicy kick to salads, and other dishes.

What Is Chicago Style Giardiniera?

Chicago Style Giardiniera is a type of pickled vegetable mixture that is generally served as a condiment on Chicago Italian beef sandwiches, among other things. Usually, it contains some combination of cauliflower, carrots, celery, and serrano peppers!

This pickled vegetable condiment is based on Italian giardiniera, which is served as an antipasto, or appetizer, and not as a condiment. This Chicago-style version has roots in Italian cuisine, but has transformed into a zingy, tangy condiment that is good on literally everything!

Why This Recipe Works:

So. Much. Flavor.: The reason I love this Chicago-style giardiniera recipe is because of the flavor bomb it adds to literally anything you use it on! The veggies in the mixture are crunchy and spicy and the pickling mixture is perfectly tangy and salty. The combination of flavors is mouthwatering!

Easy To Make: Making giardiniera at home is extremely easy and budget-friendly! They sell Chicago-style giardiniera at the store in jars, but it is very difficult to find this version outside of the Chicago area. Plus it’s affordable to make at home. Plus, you can customize it to your taste by making it spicy or mild!

Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe

Supplies Needed:

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Sauce Pot
  • Jars

Ingredients:

For the Giardiniera

  • Cauliflower: Chopped into small, bite-sized pieces!
  • Carrots: Diced into small cubes.
  • Celery: Diced into small cubes.
  • Serrano Peppers: Serrano peppers are surprisingly spicy, so I like to de-seed half of them for a spicy kick, but not too spicy!
  • Jalapeños: You can choose to de-seed these or not, depending on how spicy you want your Chicago-style giardiniera recipe!
  • Garlic: For an added savory flavor!

For the Pickling Liquid

  • White Vinegar: This will pickle the mixture and make it perfectly tangy.
  • Salt: Salt will balance out all the flavors!
  • Water: Cold water is added for extra liquid.
  • Spices: Red pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper, and bay leaves are used to infuse loads of flavor into the liquid!
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil rounds out the flavors. Try to use a high-quality olive oil if possible!
Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe ingredients

How To Make Chicago Style Giardiniera:

  1. Prep the Veggies: Chop the cauliflower, carrots, and celery into small pieces and set aside. Remove the seeds from the jalapeños and dice them into small pieces as well.
  2. Slice the Serrano Peppers: Take three of the Serrano Peppers and slice them into thin rounds with the seeds and set aside. Slice the remaining three serrano peppers in half and remove the seeds (this keeps the giardiniera spicy but not unbearable- if you want a LOT of heat then leave the seeds in). Dice the serrano peppers.
  3. Chop Garlic: Slice the garlic cloves then combine all the vegetables and set aside.
  4. Boil Liquid: In a small pot over medium heat, boil the vinegar and salt. Once boiling remove from the heat and add in the cold water, red pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and let cool briefly.
  5. Combine with Veggies: Carefully pour the pickling liquid over the diced vegetables in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 3-4 hours.
  6. Strain: After the vegetables have been resting in the liquid, strain the liquid out into a separate bowl (do not discard it). Remove the bay leaves and discard them.
  7. Divide into Jars: Divide the vegetables and spices that were strained into jars. Ladle in enough of the pickling liquid that it only covers the vegetables halfway at most.
  8. Add Olive Oil: Pour high-quality olive oil over the vegetables until it is completely covering them and stir to combine. Cover and let them rest for another 3-4 hours or overnight in the fridge to marinate.
  9. Cover & Store: Cover with a tight fitting lid and store in the fridge for 7-10 days at most. Real olive oil often solidifies at the top, so let it sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes and stir before using it each time.
Steps for making Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe

How To Use Giardiniera:

This Chicago-style giardiniera recipe, aka “hot giardiniera”, is meant to be used as a condiment to add flavor to a variety of meals! Serve with Chicago Italian beef sandwiches, tuna salad sandwiches, or mini hot dog sliders.

You can also mix the giardiniera with mayo to make a tangy sandwich spread to put on smoked burgers or hot chicken sliders!

Storing And Preservation Tips:

Since this giardiniera recipe uses oil, you can only store it in the fridge for up to 10 days at most. To help keep the freshness, make sure to store it in a jar with a tight lid!

If you wish to properly can your giardiniera, you will have to skip the oil and just use the brine with water and vinegar. Then, process the jars in a hot water bath as you would for proper canning. Just make sure the acidity of the brine is acidic enough!

Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe

More Recipes To Try:

Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe

Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe

Chicago style giardiniera is a zesty, tangy condiment that adds a burst of flavor to any dish. It's typically made with a mix of sliced vegetables like serrano peppers, bell peppers or jalapenos, celery, carrots, and cauliflower, all marinated in a blend of vinegar, olive oil, and an assortment of herbs and spices. This vibrant and colorful mix is perfect for topping Italian beef sandwiches, pizzas, adding a spicy kick to salads, and other dishes.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicago Style Giardiniera Recipe, Hot giardiniera recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 44kcal
Author: Bon Appeteach

Equipment

Ingredients

Giardiniera Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Cauliflower diced small
  • 1.5 cups Carrots diced small
  • 3 stalks Celery diced small
  • 6 Serrano Peppers sliced and chopped (remove seeds if you do not want this to be spicy- see notes below)
  • 2 Jalapenos seeds removed, diced small
  • 4 cloves Garlic sliced

Pickling Liquid

  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Cold Water
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Olive Oil as needed

Instructions

  • Chop the cauliflower, carrots, and celery into small pieces and set aside. Remove the seeds from the jalapenos and dice into small pieces as well.
  • Take three of the serrano peppers and slice them into thin rounds with the seeds and set aside. Slice the remaining three serrano peppers in half and remove the seeds (this keeps the giardiniera spicy but not unbearable- if you want a LOT of heat then leave all the seeds in).
  • Slice the garlic cloves then combine all the vegetables together and set aside.
  • In a small pot over medium heat, boil the vinegar and the salt. Once boiling remove from the heat and add in the cold water, red pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and let cool briefly.
  • Carefully pour the pickling liquid over the diced vegetables. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 3-4 hours.
  • After the vegetables have been resting in the liquid, strain the liquid out into a separate bowl (do not discard it). Remove the bay leaves (discard these).
  • Divide the vegetable and spices that were strained into jars. Ladle in enough of the pickling liquid that it only covers the vegetables halfway at most.
  • Pour a high quality olive oil over the vegetables until it is completely covering them and stir to combine. Cover and let them rest another 3-4 hours or overnight in the fridge to marinate.
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid and store in the fridge for 7-10 days at most. Real olive oil often solidifies at the top, so let it sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes and stir before using each time. Use on Chicago Italian beef sandwiches, in tuna salad, on as desired.

Notes

Serranos are a fairly spicy pepper. I recommend removing the seeds from half the peppers so you get some heat, but not so much that it overpowers everything. You can choose to take out all the seeds for a milder giardiniera or leave them all in to burn your face off. Enjoy!  

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.05g | Sodium: 3549mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 6528IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

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