This recipe makes one batch of chilli oil giardiniera and one batch of chilli vinegar giardiniera. If you want to make just one or the other, halve the vegetables and brine and omit the extra ingredients.
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 each red, green & yellow capsicums, diced
6 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium cauliflower, broken into small florets
6 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
1/2 cup table salt, divided
2 sterilised jars/containers
For chilli vinegar giardiniera:
6 long green chillies sliced into rounds, seeds disgarded if desired
6 long red chillies sliced into rounds, seeds disgarded if desired
1 tsp peppercorns
2 cups apple cider vinegar
For chilli oil giardiniera:
1/2 cup chilli flakes
2 cups canola oil
To make chilli oil: In a medium saucepan, heat canola oil over medium heat until it's just smoking. Turn off the heat and allow the oil to cool for 7 minutes.
Add the chilli flakes carefully (they will sizzle and foam quite a bit- be brave).
Leave to cool for an hour. Pour into a bowl, cover and set aside. You can refrigerate if you like but it's not necessary.
Take all vegetables, except garlic, and divide between two non-reactive bowls, placing a little over 1/3 in one and the rest in the other.
Add the sliced chillies to the bowl with 1/3 vegetables and mix them together.
Add 1/4 cup salt to each bowl and stir through the vegetables. Fill each bowl with water to cover the vegetables.
Cover the bowls and refrigerate overnight (about 12 hours).
Drain each batch of vegetables and rinse.
Place back in their bowls. Add peppercorns to the batch with chillies. Add three cloves garlic to each batch.
For the chilli oil giardiniera (the batch without chillies in it): Pack the vegetables into their container, layering them with some of the chilli flakes from the oil as you go.
Pour chilli oil over the vegetables to cover. Put lid on container and refrigerate for a day or two.
For the chilli vinegar giardiniera (the batch with the chillies in it): Pack the vegetable into their container.
Heat the vinegar in the microwave or on the stove until hot (it doesn't need to be boiling) and pour over the vegetables to cover. Put lid on container and refrigerate for a day or two.
Eat! Use both within 3 weeks.
You'll probably have some chilli oil leftover. Store for later use in salads, stir fry, dumplings etc.
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