Preserve the Harvest Series: Cauliflower and Giardiniera


Preserve the Harvest Series: Cauliflower and Giardiniera


Preserve the Harvest Series presents a new fruit or vegetable every Tuesday with the goal of helping you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested during peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, it is good to remember the best time to preserve your bounty is when it is plentiful. Preserving the harvest stocks your pantry shelves and freezer with whole foods that you can feel good about, foods that taste great, and this approach saves you money.  A sane approach to sustainability! Next up…Cauliflower and Giardiniera.

Preserve the Harvest Series: Cauliflower and Giardiniera

Before we get to the Giardiniera: Let’s Talk Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cool season crop from the cabbage family. Temperamental; cauliflower prefers temperatures to remain in the 60’s range. It the weather is too hot or too cold, smaller heads will be produced. 

When Cauliflower begins to form, the head will be quite loose. As the cauliflower grows larger, pin the large leaves together with clothespins to protect the forming head from the sun. This will prevent “yellowing” and keep the cauliflower head a creamy white color (depending on variety).

Once the head is compact and firm it’s time to harvest. Cut away the cauliflower with a sharp knife, leaving a few leaves around the cauliflower head for protection. 

After harvesting it is a good idea to soak cauliflower in a sink filled with salt water (about 1/3 cup salt) for about 30 minutes. The brine solution rids the cauliflower of any unwanted insects and pests. Unwanted travelers will simply rise to the surface of the water where they can be easily washed away. After the brine soak, rinse the cauliflower with running water to remove salt and drain the excess water. At this point your cauliflower is ready to prepare or store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Preserve the Harvest Series: Cauliflower and Giardiniera

What is Giardiniera?

 According to WikipediaItalian giardiniera is also called “sotto aceti”, which means “under vinegar”, a common term for pickled foods. It is typically eaten as an antipasto or with salads.”

Giardineira is a great way to preserve cauliflower. The pickled crunch and spicy bite from the jalapeno is a real treat.

Giardiniera is great for sandwiches, gives zip to pasta, and shines up a salad.  Giardiniera will also take your Bloody Mary to a whole new level. I have to admit here, I also love how pretty it looks all lined up on my pantry shelves. A work of art, plain and simple!

Preserve the Harvest Series: Cauliflower and Giardiniera

How to make Giardiniera

The following recipe is processed using a water bath canning process. If you have never canned before or need a refresher the National Center for Home Food Preservation is the gold standard of information. I would encourage you to head over and read their general canning information.

Preserve the Harvest Series: Cauliflower and Giardiniera This recipe can also be used as is for refrigerator Giardiniera. Simply follow all the steps up to the canning process and place in the refrigerator instead. I would suggest cutting the recipe in half if this is your preference. The Giardiniera will take about a week to develop good flavor in the refrigerator and should keep just fine for 6 weeks or more.

4.5 from 2 reviews
I prefer Giardiniera to be a touch on the spicy side. If spicy is not your preference, omit the Jalapeno peppers. When canning, crisp fresh vegetables are essential. If the vegetables don't start out fresh, they wont miraculously get better once canned. In fact, it is just the opposite. Any assortment of vegetables that equal 16 cups will work, use what you like best. Recipe as it will make 8 pints of Giardinera. Recipe can be cut in half if preferred.
  • 2 medium sized heads of cauliflower, (about 12 cups florets)
  • I small onion, cut in half, ¼ inch slice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, ¼ inch slice
  • 3 large carrots, cleaned and peeled, ½ in slice
  • 2 large jalapenos
  • 16 small cloves garlic
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2⅔ cups water
  • 4 tsp pickling salt
  • ¼ tsp tri-colored peppercorns for each pint jar
  • ⅛ tsp pickle crisp for each pint jar (optional)
  1. Clean and sterilize 8 pint jars, lids and bands. Keep warm.
  2. Combine cauliflower, onions, carrots and peppers in large roasting pan, (or something big enough to hold the mix).
  3. Combine sugar, vinegar, water and salt in large stainless steel or enamel pan.
  4. Bring to full boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the sugar from sticking.
  5. Meanwhile, place vegetable into warm jars, packing tightly to ½ inch from top of jar.
  6. Pour hot liquid over vegetables filling jars to within ½ inch of top of jar. Wipe rim with clean cloth and place lid and screw type band.
  7. Process jars in hot water bath for 10 minutes from when water begins to boil
  8. Remove jars from canner, allow to cool for 24 hours.
  9. For best flavor, wait at least 2 weeks before opening. The longer the pickles sit, the better the flavor will develop.

Recipe adapted from Winter Pickles: The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round (afilliate link)

How to Preserve the Harvest Series: Cauliflower and Giardiniera shared with:

*Crafty Spices: Wordless Wednesday *Oh My Heartsie Girl: What I Made Wordless Wednesday *Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesdays *The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch *Foody Schmoody: Wednesday Roundup *My Paper Craze: Creative Spark *Lambert’s Lately: Create it Thursday *Sweet Haute: Sweet Haute Share Linky *Momma Lews: Pin it Party *Crafty Allie: Worthwhile Wednesday *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursdays * Organized 31: Inspsire Us Thursday *The Deliberate Mom: Shine *A Dish of Daily Life: Foodie Friday’s *The Kitchen Chopper: The Weekend Social *Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday *Juggling Real food and Real Life: Let’s Get Real * In the Kitchen with Jennie: Foodie Friends Friday * Coffee With Us 3: Pretty Pintatstic * The Cookie Puzzle: Party in Your PJ’s * Love bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Friday’s * Creat with Joy: Friendship Friday *Natasha in Oz: Say G’Day *Homemaking with Style: Creative Style Linkup *2 Crochet Hooks: Snickerdoodle Sunday *Mrs Tee Love, Life Laughter:The Mommy Monday Blog Hop *Create with Joy: Inspire Me Monday *My Pinterventures: Merry Monday’s *Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brag *It’s a Ginger Snap: Motivate me Monday’s *Memories by the Mile: Treasure Box Tuesday *Lou Lou Girls: Lou Lou Girls *The 21st Century Housewife – The Hearth and Soul Blog Hop *Mandy’s recipe Box: Totally Talented Tuesday’s *Craving Some Creativity: Turn it up Tuesday *Grow a Good Life: Green Thumb Thursday

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



    • says

      I have frozen my cauliflower in the past, but I find that I like the Giardiniera much better. I am glad you liked it too. Thanks for stopping in and have a wonderful rest of your week.

    • says

      I’ll let you in on a little secret…I love those beautiful jeweled jars too. Sometimes when I am going by the pantry, I stop and open the cupboards just to look. I know I’m a bit strange but they are so pretty and I love what they represent. Thanks for coming by.

    • says

      Thanks Erlene. We had the opportunity this past weekend to eat the first of the refrigerated Giardiniera that I did not can and it was delicious. I had a little dinner party and put it out for an appetizer while we were waiting for dinner to be ready. I kept filling the platter and it kept disappearing. Eventually, I ran out. Now I have to wait for my jars to be ready before we can have more.
      Blessings friend,

  1. says

    I have a jar of thisin my cabinet. My husband loves it but I have never madeit myself. Going to have to try to make it! Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.
    Carie Spence recently posted…Asian Pear & Berry TartMy Profile

  2. says

    I’ve never heard of Giardiniera. I Also have never tried canning. Does this need to be refrigerated? Looks mighty tasty. I’m trying to incorporate more veggies in our diet. This would be a nice addition. Thanks for sharing with Creative Style!

    • says

      This will need to be refrigerated. You can make up a batch and stick it in the fridge instead of canning. Wait about a week to 10 days for best flavor and then eat away. It will last for quite sometime but mine never seems to. We eat it up to quickly! :) Thanks April, hope that answers your question.

    • says

      I served the refrigerator version last night when we had a few friends for dinner and they were perfect! Just the right amount of zip with a great crunch. Thanks for stopping by, I always enjoy your visit.

  3. says

    Such luscious looking cauliflower. I really enjoy these preserving tips. Between my garden and my father-in-law’s garden, we have an over abundance of fresh fruits and veggies.

    Thanks so much for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…SHINE Blog Hop #8My Profile

  4. says

    I love anything pickled! Your recipe looks great and I am glad to see jalapenos in your Giardiniera! I am going to have to try it!

    • says

      I do too Lizzy. It is especially delicious straight from the garden. Always thinking of new ways to use it. Tomorrow I have the best salad recipe I am going to share. Can’t wait! Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to share.

  5. says

    Shari, I love your garden and this recipe is a version of what my Grandma Shirley used to make, and I made when I got married, with her instruction over the phone. Thanks for the wonderful memories, I haven’t thought about this one in years. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  6. says


    What beautiful Cauliflower! You amaze me everyday with pictures of your garden. I would love to see a picture of the entire garden. Anyway, I have never heard of GIARDINIERA. I would love to try it. I love the peppers and jalapenos in it.

    Blessings, Stumbling, tweeting, pinning, now.

    Diane Roark

    • says

      Thanks Diane. My garden is always evolving and changing. I never have time to tire of it. Right now I am knee deep in peas, cauliflower, and cabbage. I bet you can guess what’s coming up in next weeks series :) Thanks for the visit. Have a wonderful week.


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