Dievole's blog

How to preserve Summer vegetables

As Fall approaches, don’t curb your craving for fresh and crunchy veggies: here’s a simple trick that will preserve Summer vegetables and keep your dishes green and lively even as the year shifts into colder temperatures. La Giardiniera is a traditional Italian peasant food conceived to make the most of nature’s abundance. Its evocative name derives from word “Giardino”, which is Italian for “Garden”, from which the recipe borrows its healthy colours and fresh aromas.

INGREDIENTS TO PRESERVE SUMMER VEGETABLES

300 gr celery

300 gr onions

300 gr cauliflower

300 gr carrots

300 gr zucchini

300 gr mixed peppers (red, yellow and green)

200 gr radish

1 liter of Dievole Chianti Classico Wine Vinegar

750 ml Le Due Arbie White Wine

1,5 liter Water

halved garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

50 gr Salt

600 gr Brown sugar

Black Pepper to taste

Dievole 100 % Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

HOW TO PREPARE LA GIARDINIERA

Wash and finely chop all vegetables. Mix vinegar, wine, water, sugar, bay leaves, salt and crushed pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook each vegetable type separately until tender-crisp then dry with a clean cloth. Once the process has been completed, do not throw out the cooking liquid – stick it in the fridge and let it cool down for 25 minutes. In the meantime, remove the lids and prepare the jars you will be preserving your pickled Giardiniera veggies in: wash them in hot soapy water, rinse well then sterilise them in a pot of boiling hot water for 10 minutes. Let the lids simmer separately in a small saucepan for about ten minutes. Take the clean jars and fill them with the previously cooked vegetables, 2 garlic cloves, the chilled brine and top with a bit of Dievole extra virgin olive oil in order to better preserve the vegetables’ flavour and temper the acidity. Once your jars have been covered and cooled down, put them in boiling water and make sure that they are vacuum-sealed correctly. Store in a dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. We suggest not opening the jars for at least a month, this way the flavours will really set in and you will be able to preserve summer vegetables for up to several weeks!

HOW TO USE YOUR HOMEMADE GIARDINIERA

Its sweet and sour flavour pairs perfectly with fish and meat dishes – at Dievole, for example, we love to preserve Summer vegetables and serve them aside our beef tartare with fresh homemade mayonnaise and green sauce. You can also use your giardiniera to add some color to appetiser dishes and cold cut platters. This delicious condiment also travelled across the ocean and has a spicy sister variant in Chicago thanks to the culinary knowledge passed on by nostalgic Italian immigrants who just couldn’t and wouldn’t let go of this easy-to-make relish… and who could blame them! In this specific part of the USA it is usually used as a dressing in beef and sausage sandwiches or as a pizza topping. There are many recipes and uses for the Giardiniera, so feel free to experiment and share your discoveries with us!