I remember having an amazing solo lunch at New York’s Parm restaurant about five years ago where I ate these Italian pickles for the first time. When Parm opened, everyone went nuts for its meatball sub and turkey sandwich. Personally, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when trying its giardiniera pickles. I love having them straight up as antipasti with cheese, cured meats and a good bottle of wine.
Makes: A 2-litre jar
Takes: 40 mins, plus overnight soaking, 1-2 hours drying and 1-2 weeks pickling
200g sea salt
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
100g button mushrooms
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
60ml olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 juniper berries
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp granulated sugar
750ml white wine vinegar
1 In a large tub or bowl, combine 2l water with the sea salt and stir until dissolved.
2 Rinse and cut the peppers, courgette, aubergine, mushrooms and onion into your preferred shapes – slices or chunks. Add them to the saltwater.
3 Cover with a lid or clean plate, ensuring everything is under water, and leave to sit overnight at room temperature.
4 The next day, drain the vegetables and rinse under cold water. Put on a tea towel to let them dry for 1–2 hrs.
5 Place the drained and dried vegetables in a sterilised jar, along with the garlic, olive oil, rosemary, bay leaves, juniper berries, cloves, peppercorns, and sugar.
6 Top with the vinegar, press the vegetables down well, seal and store in a cool, dark place. They will be ready in 1–2 weeks and will keep refrigerated after opening for 1 month.
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