Giardiniera is a dish that is created by combining various types of pickled vegetables with vinegar or some type of oil. While the range of vegetables used in giardiniera may vary, the most common selections are olives, pickled peppers, carrots, cauliflower, and zucchini. In some cases, sections of onions and celery are included in the mixture. Even a simple marinated olive salad can be classified as giardiniera.
The preparation of giardiniera is usually involves the use of either olive oil or some type of vinegar that contains added seasonings. It is possible to prepare giardiniera with red or white wine vinegar, as well as adding a range of herbs and spices to plain white vinegar. The object of the use of the vinegar is to compliment the pickling effect on the vegetables while also adding another layer of flavor to the dish.
While a traditional Italian version of giardiniera will include zucchini, carrots, and cauliflower, it is possible to add all sorts of picked vegetables to the recipe. Sections of bell peppers and onions are popular additions to the basic recipe. Pimentos can also add a dash of color to the final offering. Even such items as asparagus spears, cucumbers, whole green beans, okra pods, and broccoli spears may be added to giardiniera.
Serving giardiniera is proper with several different types of foods. The picked vegetable mixture can be offered as an accompaniment to a fresh garden salad. It may also function as a side dish for the entrée. In some situations, giardiniera may be used as a condiment for a meat course. The mixture can be layered on steaks, hamburger patties and even boneless breasts of chicken. Using giardiniera in this fashion adds visual interest to the entrée as well as providing additional flavor to enjoy.
It is possible to purchase giardiniera in many supermarkets and upscale food shops. However, anyone can create giardiniera in his or her own kitchen. All that is required is to select the vegetables desired for the dish, clean them thoroughly, and marinate the vegetables in some type of oil or vinegar. After marinating the vegetables for a day or so, place the vegetables into an airtight glass jar and pour fresh oil or vinegar over the contents. The homemade giardiniera can be stored in the refrigerator and enjoyed as a nutritious snack between meals, or as a means of adding some excitement to lunch or dinner.