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Amazing Fermented Giardiniera



Posted by Kristi

Giardiniera is an Italian pickled relish. You may see it on the salad bar from time to time, although restaurants usually have a vinegar-based version. This fermented giardiniera recipe will use the power of salt to preserve and pickle these foods instead of vinegar.

Fermented Giardiniera |

Amazing Fermented Giardiniera

How to eat Giardiniera

Giardiniera is mostly known for adding on top of a salad, but this relish is fabulous with many other foods and dishes. You can easily make a pasta salad with it. It is delicious with eggs, and maybe some hot sauce! If you like sauerkraut on your hot dogs, you will love giardiniera on them, too.

Another way to eat giardiniera is to eat it alone, as an appetizer. If you are making an appetizer tray for a dinner or lunch party, add this relish for great color and taste. Guests will love dipping it in a creamy white dip.

One thing to think about is how spicy you want the relish to be. Some people like it hot, but if you have children who do not like spicy foods you may want to make a mild version. It is all in the selection of peppers. For instance, if you want a mild relish you can choose bell peppers, and banana peppers, with no hot peppers. Hot recipes would typically use serrano or jalapeño peppers.

A Fermented Giardiniera Recipe:


• A set of Fermentools. Airlock systems are easy to use, and keep a healthy environment for fermented foods.

• Wide-mouthed Mason jars; I prefer using a half-gallon size. Some people use a fermenting crock. There are many possibilities when fermenting.

• Himalayan salt – Don’t use just any salt. This salt is perfect for fermenting.

• Cook/prepare food properly.


• 2 cups red bell pepper, chopped

• 2 cups green bell pepper, chopped

• 2 cups celery, sliced

• 2 cups carrots, sliced

• 1 medium white onion, or 4 shallots (chopped/sliced)

• 3 cups cauliflower, chopped

• 1-2 serrano peppers, sliced (HOT) *optional for a spicy recipe or use pepperoncini peppers for a little spice but not much.

• 2 banana peppers, sliced

• 5 garlic cloves, sliced

• 1 sprig of fresh thyme

• 2 bay leaves

• 6 cups of non-chlorinated water.


1. Wash mason jar/s. Allow air-drying.

2. Chop all of the vegetables; mix them up in a large bowl.

3. Add them to your fermenting vessel/s.

4. Mix the salt and water, and pour it in over the vegetables.

5. Remember to weigh down the veggies so that they all stay under the brine.

6. Secure the Fermentools airlock system and place in a warm, dark place like your pantry. Make sure it is away from direct sunlight.

Ferment anywhere from four to seven days. Taste them on the fourth day, and determine if they have that wow factor, yet. Ideally, they should be crunchy and taste just a little sour, like sauerkraut. When you are ready to pull the ferment you can place it in the fridge with a regular lid on it. When done, the airlock can come off and be used in the next ferment.

I ran out of onions, but I have shallots. Shallots are great to use in place of an onion. They work great in fermenting recipes, providing lots of flavor. Shallots look like large cloves of garlic, and many people think they taste like garlic, but when you peel the paper back you will see they look like a little onion. And, they smell fantastic and pack a powerful onion-like taste.


Kristi is the blog owner of She is a wife and mother of three wonderful boys. She loves to write about food, children & parenting, tips and tricks, and survival information.

5 thoughts on “Amazing Fermented Giardiniera”

  • Paul

    I find this blog remarkable in what it omits; basics on fermentation for the Giardiniera recipe and for the unjustified specification of Himalayan salt. Salt flavors are mostly a matter of personal taste, but basics of fermentation relate to food safety. There should be admonitions about sanitary preparation of whatever weights would be used to hold the vegetable components under the brine, for example. Again, to the matter of personal taste: I noted pepperoncini among the suggested peppers, but a large amount of bell peppers, both red and green. For those who don't really taste bell peppers as a strong flavor and use them mostly for color, this may be fine, but for some, bell peppers and pimientos have a very strong flavor, and some folk cannot eat them but can eat chilies. There are many fine seasonal chiles out there that are mild and may be substituted for bell peppers to keep a flavor balance without the adverse (for some folk) effects of bell peppers. I'd suggest the milder Anaheim and Fresno peppers (hot ones are also available), the smaller thin pod sweet chiles, and even the new hybrids of chiles that have traditionally been piquant, but are now also available in mild versions. If you are fortunate enough to live in California or New Mexico, you may much prefer using the excellent Hatch chiles, which can be either hot or medium-mild. I favor using the ripe red ones, but some prefer the flavor of the green chiles. If you buy very firm green ones that are just turning to a bit of red areas, they can usually be ripened to red in open baskets or with other fruits and used as long as they don't dry too much. Short season on those, however! If you can find the very yellow cauliflower, use it in your giardiniera (my preference) in place of the white.

  • Paul

    The salt! Rather than mislead people on Himalayan salt as THE salt to use, a matter of personal taste, why not specify how much salt to use? Perhaps iodized salt would affect fermentation, and some wish to avoid that, but at least list the amount of salt to use for those 6 cups of water in your ingredients list. I would tend to use three level tablespoons of salt for that much water, but if adjusting vegetable quantities, a tablespoon of salt per pint of water appears to suffice. Again, more could be use if you prefer.

  • […] the lemons are acidic they will take a little longer to ferment than other fermented vegetables.  Allow up to 3 weeks for the lemons to finish fermenting.  The lemon skin will soften and become […]

  • Heather

    Yes, the omission of the amount of salt to use for fermenting is absolutely irresponsible and plain wrong. The salinity of the brine is of utmost importance in fermenting foods. Too little set risks food borne illness, possibly even botulism and death.

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