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Giardiniera??? Prior to meeting my husband who is from the Chicago suburbs, this Kansas girl had never heard of such a condiment.  Boy, I was missing out!!  Everytime we go back to visit my in-laws my husband wants to visit Portillos restaurant for a sloppy, spicy Italian Beef  Sandwich.  The giardiniera is what makes the sandwich and we have been trying to recreate it at home.  The recipe I use is an adaptation from Guy Fieri’s recipe, his calls for pimento (which I don’t think adds much) and green olives (which my husband doesn’t like), feel free to add them if you would like.  You can also add more chili flakes and jalapenos to increase the heat.



2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1/2 large onion, diced

2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp red chili flakes

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt

2 large jalapeños, seeded and halved

Partly fill a large bowl with ice and add 4 cups of water.

Fill a large stockpot half full of water and add kosher salt.  Bring to a boil.  Add the peppers, celery, carrots, onion, and cauliflower and boil for 2-3 minutes.  Immediately, plunge the vegetables into the ice bath.  Toss vegetables in ice bath until cooled.  Drain.

In a large bowl, combine the vinegars, sugar, black pepper, chili flakes, garlic, and salt.  Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.

Divide vegetables among the jars you wish to use.  (I used 2 quart jars).  Add 2 jalapeño halves to each jar, then pour vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Refrigerate.  Allow the giardiniera to cure for 3 days before enjoying.  Will keep for 2-3 months.

Adapted from Guy Fieri Food.