Inspired by a recipe I read in my new favorite Italian cookbook, The Southern Italian Table by Arthur Schwartz, and desirous of finding a new way to preserve I made Giardineria, Quick Pickled Vegetables. Sotto Aceti (under vinegar) is another name used for these quick pickles and most restaurants in Italy provide some assortment on their antipasti plates.
The “quick” part is a little deceiving; it is quicker than the canning version which requires being around a steaming hot bath for preserving your pickles. However, these aren’t ready to eat for 5-7 days.
Like so many home preservation recipes, you can tailor it to your own tastes. I love bay leaf and rosemary, so I put some of those in, along with a ton of garlic cloves (making them pickles unto themselves) and black peppercorns. Traditionally, sotto aceto includes carrots which provide a natural sweetness. Without them, I simply added a teaspoon of sugar to the water vinegar mix that I poured over the veggies.
Italian Quick Pickle Veggies – Sotto Aceto
(makes 1 quart)
1 head cauliflower, broken up into bite size pieces
10 mini red bell peppers
15 whole garlic cloves
1 fresh bay leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
1/2 quart water
1/2 quart cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to low simmer. Remove from stove. Place vegetables in mason jar and pour hot liquid over veggies. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 week. Eat at will!