Giardiniera – Simple and Fast Pickled Vegetables

Giardiniera pickled vegetables

Giardiniera which literally means “from the garden” is a economical way to use up leftover vegetables or that bag of carrots that has been lurking in the back of the fridge.

Sometimes referred to as sottaceti (under vinegar), this is a classic Italian antipasto of pickled veggies in olive oil and vinegar. However, once the idea landed in the U.S., a hot and spicy version found a permanent home on Italian meat sandwiches in Chicago and on muffuletta sandwiches in New Orleans.

I give you this simple and easy version. The pickled vegetables in a peppery brine add a wonderful piquancy to many dishes. I love this recipe that I adapted from Cook’s Illustrated because it is so simple. Other vegetables can be used such as fennel, onions, bell peppers or hot peppers. Clean out the fridge and create a masterpiece!

I like to use seasoned rice vinegar because it creates a rich flavor. For a twist, substitute white wine vinegar. Enjoy!
Giardiniera ingredients vinegar

To spice up your antipasto platter, include these alongside your giardiniera: Olive and Tomato Antipasto, Peperonata or Marinated squash.


  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pickled veggies perfect for a plethora of dishes.


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 carrots, cut in 1/4 slices
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in 1/4 in slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 3 cups seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Two 1-quart jars with secure lids


  1. Mix cut cauliflower, carrots, celery and garlic in a large bowl and mix well. Fill quart jars with vegetables, using the end of a wooden spoon to pack them down.
  2. To make the brine, put vinegar, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, peppercorns and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Brine giardiniera
  4. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables making sure to completely cover veggies with liquid.
  5. Cool completely and then put on lids securely. Refrigerate for 3 hours before enjoying.
  6. Giardiniera will last for a week in the fridge.
  7. This simple giardiniera enhances any salad, pizza, bruschetta amd tastes great right out of the jar.
  8. Do you have other ideas? Buon appetito!

Yummy on a bed of salad greens. Instant salad!

Your comments are always welcome!