Giardiniera Extraordinaire

Giardiniera Extraordinaire

If you are from Chicago you know giardiniera. We put it on Italian beef sandwiches, brats, sausages, French dips, pastas, pizzas and use it to spice up fish. I even put it in our eggs in the morning. It is the one stop, spicy shop condiment. If you don’t live in Chicago you may have been missing out… until now that is.

We usually buy our giard from Fiore’s Deli in our neighborhood. The giardiniera is really inexpensive to buy there, I am mildly obsessed with it. Their pepper and egg sandwich is also drool worthy and the employees are fantastic and funny. I heart this place BIG TIME, if you can’t tell.  Still, we wanted to try to make our own giard at home, fully aware that if it turned out bad we would be stuck consuming jar upon jar of this stuff for months. Thankfully it turned out great!

I cannot tell you how many servings this makes because that depends on you and how much you use. I will tell you that this made about 5 (12-16oz) jars. I reused old jam and spaghetti sauce jars plus a couple of mason jars that were previously from Fiore’s giardinera.

Final Giardiniera


Here is the recipe we used: 

Note: We like it spicy so we added extra peppers. YUM!
  • 2 large green bell peppers, diced

  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced

  • fresh jalapeño peppers, sliced

  • 8 serrano peppers, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced* 
  • 1 medium carrot, diced

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh cauliflower florets* 

  • 1/2 cup salt

  • water to cover

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped**

  • 1  1/4 cup olive oil***
  • 1  1/4 cup white vinegar***
*We added an extra celery stalk and an additional 1/2 cup of cauliflower. I love my veggies!
**Instead of chopping the garlic we smashed whole, small cloves and placed one in the bottom of each of the jars.
***We added an extra 1/2 cup olive oil and vinegar to our giard because we use the spicy oil mixture for other recipes daily.  I told you we love this stuff.




  1. Place into a bowl the green and red peppers, jalapeños, celery, carrots, onion, and cauliflower. Stir in salt, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Place plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, drain salty water, and rinse vegetables. In a bowl, mix together garlic (if you decide to follow the original recipe), oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Pour in vinegar and olive oil, and mix well. Combine with vegetable mixture, cover, and refrigerate for 2 days before canning and using.


How did we remove labels and sterilize the jars for the canning process?

To remove the labels I placed the old jars into a large pot of cold water and brought this to a boil. I let it bowl for about ten minutes. I turned off the heat and let it sit just enough until I was able to handle the jars. One by one I took them out and the labels just slid right off. I used dish soap to remove the “gunk” left on some of them.


To sterilize we placed the jars, standing up on a cookie sheet and baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. I did the same with the lids, making sure that the top of the lids were face down on the cookie sheet.

TA DA! All done and delicious! Now let’s eat!!!

The More You Know:

Did you know that you can regrow food from your scraps? You can! Place the root of celery, lettuce, green onion in water and place near sunlight. Pictured is our “window foods”. We have regrown that onion three times now from the same bulbs. As you can see this batch did not get as much sun. Sad onions, but look at that lettuce go! Give it a try.

Day 23: Pleased To Meat You

Day 23: Pleased To Meat You

The last time I had red meat I was about twelve years old. I just didn’t like the way it tasted. My parents tried to get me to eat pork when they could by telling me it was just chicken prepared differently. I was fourteen the last time I remember eating chicken. I am more of a sushitarian these days. Yes, I know that is not actually a thing but it should be. My most hated smell in all the world next to the Durian fruit is bacon. My old roommate Dave loooooved bacon so one year for his birthday I got him the Bacon of the Month Club. Each month a new box would arrive with with three different packages of bacon. What a mistake! Every weekend the smell lingered in the house and permeated all of our clothes. After a few months he let me cancel it since his doctor told him to lay off the bacon for health reasons. HA! Sorry Dave.  To this day the smell of bacon makes me queasy. My boyfriend, Magoo is a meatatarian. Again, I know that’s not a thing but it should be. Together we are the perfect date. He eats the meat and I eat the veggies. He constantly cooks me vegan and vegetarian friendly meals, actually he makes almost all the meals in our home. I am not a very good cook, especially because half the time I forget that I started to cook/bake something. Yes, yes I have used timers but once the timer goes off my mind immediately thinks of something else and I forget. What can I say, I am a weirdo.

For today I want to cook my man meat. I carefully went through two hours worth of recipes and Magoo’s final decision was…. drumroll please… Chicken Cordon Bleu. I couldn’t believe it. Of all the things he could have, this is what he wanted. Whenever we would go to the grocery store he would look to buy the crappy frozen ones but they are always sold out. Either these things are really good or just really cheap. Ha Ha. I found this yummy looking recipe on the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything. If you love food you will love this blog. Just ignore the broccoli in the photo. That is going to be what I am eating for dinner. Like I said, together we are the perfect date. Wish me luck!