Makes about 3 quarts


Giardiniera is a great way to brighten heavy winter dishes, and it can be used in almost endless ways. You can serve it as a part of an antipasti spread, chopped for salads or sandwiches or even as a component in a Bloody Mary. You can also use the brine for dressings or to add zing to a sauce.


  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch squares
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 2 by ½ inch sticks
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced ½ inch thick on the bias
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, halved, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup fennel fronds reserved
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • ⅓ cup kosher salt
  • 3 cups white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon peperoncino


Combine the cauliflower, bell pepper, carrots, celery, onion, fennel, bay leaves and garlic in a very large ceramic or glass bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and toss well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the vegetables well. Tightly pack the vegetables in quart jars, distributing some garlic and bay leaves in each.

Combine the vinegar, 3 cups water, the sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, fennel seeds and peperoncino in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the vegetables in the jar, distributing the spices equally among them.

Tap the jars on the counter to remove any air bubbles, screw the lids on and let cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 24 hours or up to 2 weeks.