the canning continues: hot giardiniera

During my trip to Chicago I fell in love with giardiniera. Basically a mixture of pickled vegetables, hot peppers and olives, this stuff is good on just about anything. Personally, I've been mixing it into simple tomato, cucumber and halloumi salads, eating it on crackers with a bit if sharp cheese, and sometimes just savouring a spoonful straight-up. You could say I've become pretty addicted to the stuff. So when the sole jar that I brought home with me ran out, I decided to make my own. This recipe doesn't include olives so I plan on adding them after I open the jar, which won't be for a few weeks (cue sad face).

adapted from The Joy of Pickling
makes one 1 L mason jar

2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
1/3 small head of cauliflower, finely chopped
3 serrano peppers, sliced into rings
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings
2 1/2 tbsp pickling or kosher salt
1 bay leaf
2 large garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 1/4 C water
1 1/3 C vinegar (white or cider)
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Place celery in a bowl with 1/2 tbsp of the salt. Let sit for 1/2 hour then drain of excess liquid.

2. Place the rest of the vegetables into a bowl and mix. Add celery and mix again. Place bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns and oregano in a sterilized mason jar. Pack vegetable mixture into the jar.

3. In a pot, bring vinegar, water and remaining 2 tbsp of salt to a boil. Stir until salt dissolves. Pour the hot liquid over the vegetables leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Top with the olive oil. Seal with lid.

4. To process: Place jar into a large pot of boiling water and make sure it's covered by at least 1 inch of water. Boil for 20 minutes. Remove from water and let cool. Make sure lid has sealed to jar. Store in a dark place for at least 3 weeks before eating.

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