Friday, July 18, 2014

I made giardeneria the other day...

it sure is pretty...

I was having a hankering for cauliflower the other day. Specifically, pickled cauliflower. So I got it in my mind that I wanted to make a batch of homemade giardeneria.

I found a recipe, gathered the ingredients and went for it.

I chopped up cauliflower and peppers and carrots and celery and onions. I simmered vinegar and water and garlic and sugar and salt. I blanched the vegetables, some for longer than others. Then I stuffed it all in a big jar I got at my neighbor's yard sale and shoved it in the back of the fridge.

And then...I waited. I let it sit and marinate and pickle and soak up all that goodness for about 36 hours. Finally the time came to taste it. I was pretty stoked, really. Probably more than I should have been. But I do love giardeneria, I love most pickled things, really, so I was looking forward to seeing how it turned out.

I spooned up a small bowl and got to tasting...

And I gotta say...I was disappointed! Boo!

The carrots and cauliflower were "blanched" too long so they'd lost their crisp bite...especially the carrots. And sadly, those are one of my favorite ingredients!

On top of overcooked vegetables, the liquid was off. It was too sweet and too garlicky. And I only used three garlic cloves for the whole mixture. But they took over...and they weren't a good mix with the amount of sugar the recipe called for.

With each bite I hoped for a different outcome...but the fact was that I had missed the mark. In an effort to save all those vegetables, I sloshed in about another cup of white vinegar straight up, stirred it around and put it back in the fridge for another day. And it helped. The taste was better, for sure. But the overcooked veggies still remain.

Kind of a bummer, right?

Yeah...I think so, too.'s what I will do differently the next time...
  • Blanche the cauliflower for maybe a minute or two, not the 4 or 5 the recipe calls for.
  • Omit the garlic. Or maybe just simmer it in the vinegar but remove the cloves before adding the liquid to the jar.
  • LESS SUGAR. I realize it's necessary to cut some of the acidity, but I will scale way back next time. I want tart, vinegar-y pickles...not sweet-ish. Blech.
  • Definitely add pepperoncini peppers. I didn't have any and didn't want to go back to the store so I just left them out. I'm thinking they would have helped the pickly factor.
And just now, out of curiosity, since I was actually craving cauliflower I decided to look up it's nutritional value. Would you believe one cup of cauliflower contains 77% of your daily Vitamin C? Go figure! My body is still trying to tell me something...

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