Italian Giardiniera

Italian Giardiniera is a classic fermented food that is part of the Mediterranean Diet

Leda Scheintaub, author of Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen shares one of her favorite recipes from her book. We highly recommend adding her cookbook to your collection.

We think you’ll enjoy this classic Italian condiment, made by salt brining the vegetables instead of the usual pickling in vinegar. It is lovely served as part of a pasta dish, over soup, or as a side. There are many ways to be creative here. Both crisp and nourishing, this dish is perfect for any season!

Here is the recipe for the salt brine used in Italian Giardiniera. 

This recipe makes two quarts or about 12 servings.

CULTURED FOODS FOR YOUR KITCHEN: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of 
Fermentation by Leda Scheintaub, Rizzoli New York, 2014.

Leda Scheintaub is the author of Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation (Rizzoli, 2014). She is also the author, along with Whole Foods Encyclopedia author Rebecca Wood, of The Whole Bowl: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Soups and Stews (Countryman Press, 2015)You can visit her at Leda and her husband, Nash Patel, run Dosa Kitchen, a farm-to-truck Indian eatery based in Brattleboro, Vermont. You’ll find them at and on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. The two of them currently are collaborating on the Dosa Kitchen Cookbook.

Photo Credit: Christine Dutton


Mediterranean Diet Recipe: Italian Giardiniera

Italian Giardiniera

Calories 161 kcal


  • 1 small to medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 to 2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 quarts Basic Salt Brine 1.5 Liters


  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the brine. Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart (2-liter) jar or crock or two 1-quart (1-liter) jars. Pour enough brine over the vegetables to cover them with at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of space remaining at the top. Place a glass filled with water or a small ramekin with a rock placed in it that fits snugly into your jars and press down on it until the brine rises over the level of the vegetables.
  • Place the jar on a rimmed plate (a glass pie plate works nicely) to catch any potential overflow, cover with a clean dish towel to keep out insects, and set aside in a cool place away from sunlight to ferment.
  • After 2 days, check your vegetables, removing mold if any develops (don’t worry if you don’t get all of the mold; you’ve created an anaerobic environment in which it is almost impossible for bad bacteria to take root). When you check your vegetables, occasionally taste one to see how far they’ve fermented and decide if they have soured to your liking.
  • Your gardiniera will be ready in 4 to 5 days, depending on the season and kitchen temperature and how tangy and crunchy you like it. Remove the weight, cover, and place in the refrigerator, where it will keep for about 6 months.


Calories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 6gFat: