You may have noticed that I eat a lot of giardiniera, Italian pickled vegetables, in my salads. I LOVE the pickled, vinegar-y crunch that these veggies provide, and they are a great way to spice up a bed of spinach and other veggies without adding any dressing at all. I buy jar after jar, sometimes going through a half a jar at one meal or even as a snack. I can’t get enough!

So I decided to try to make my own.


I didn’t know exactly how these would turn out, so I made a small batch as an experiment. I chopped about a cup each of cauliflower and carrots.


I made a brine using about 1/2 cup of sea salt and enough water to just cover the veggies.


The recipe that I loosely based this on said to brine them overnight, but when do I ever follow a recipe? I went and took a bubble bath with my bubbles from the Foodbuzz Festival (thanks, Mardi!) and when I was done waited about an hour until I drained and rinsed the veggies. The brining made them a little brighter.


I wanted spicy vegetables, so I shook a bunch of red pepper flakes on to them and tossed them all around before adding pickling spices.

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Finally, I covered the whole mess with white vinegar and tossed in a couple of teaspoons of my beloved habanero oil. I said I wanted them spicy. :)


The recipe said to let them sit for 48 hours, but I couldn’t wait and ate half of them after only 24. SO good. The pickling spices I used had some cloves which gave them a little bit of sweetness which I would not want in my next batch, but other than that they were quite spicy, very crunchy, and I ate so many that my mouth started to hurt and I had to stop.

Now that I know how easy it is, I will be adding all sorts of veggies to the mix. So far I have only eaten these on top of a salad, but I can definitely also see these veggies in a rough chopped relish for a cheese/Ploughman’s type sandwich.

Simple and delicious.

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Tags: recipe, vegetables, Vegetarian

  1. Simply Life’s avatar

    Wow I’m so impressed! I never really even knew what made that flavor – looks like your creation came out great!


  2. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best’s avatar

    I adore homemade pickled cauliflower, the texture is so interesting. This batch looks terrific!


  3. Jillian (back to the nest)’s avatar

    That looks incredible. Usually I’m not a fan of pickled veggies, but those look so good and the homemade factor is really appealing. Where the heck do ya get habanero oil? I’m in love with anything outrageously spicy.


  4. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

    Very impressive and ambitious! Good for you girl! Sounds delicious :-)


  5. traveleatlove’s avatar

    I got it at a store called Le Gourmet Chef. It is sooo good on everything from salads to stir fries to popcorn. It packs a spicy punch, which I love!


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