Pickled vegetables

Pickled vegetables


Sharing Puglia
Alicia Taylor

Pickled vegetables make a tasty appetiser for any lunch or dinner. After a quick coffee and pastry at a local cafe in Gioia del Colle, Vivienne and I visited Giulia, a master preserver, vegetable grower and all-round mamma extraordinaire! A walk into her warehouse was glorious as it was filled with an array of homemade preserves and pickles, including giardiniera. We bought a few jars and spent the next two hours getting lost in rural Puglia, sampling the goodies.


Quantity Ingredient
4 carrots, diced
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 yellow capsicum, cut into strips
1 red capsicum, cut into strips
1 green capsicum, cut into strips
1 bulb fennel, cut into strips
100g green beans
50g fresh green peas
40g rock salt
500ml white wine vinegar
140ml extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pickling spices
6 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sugar

Pickling spices

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
8 whole cloves
4 dill sprigs, leaves stripped
12 bay leaves, torn


  1. To make the pickling spices, gently heat the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, juniper berries and chilli flakes in a small saucepan over low heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the spices lightly. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and, once completely cold, put it in a jar with a lid.
  3. Crush the cinnamon gently using the mortar and pestle, leaving some long pieces intact. Add this to the jar along with the ginger, cloves, dill and bay leaves. Shake the jar to incorporate all of the ingredients and store in the jar until needed.
  4. For the pickled vegetables, place all the vegetables in a large non-reactive bowl. Cover them with water and add the rock salt, mixing well. Cover the bowl with a plate and weight it down with tins, so the plate is pressing on the vegetables, and leave to marinate overnight in a cool spot.
  5. The next day, drain the vegetables and rinse well. Place the vegetables on a tea towel in one layer and dry them well.
  6. Transfer the vegetables to a clean bowl and pour the vinegar over the top of the vegetables, mixing well. Cover with a weighted plate and leave to marinate again for 6 hours in a cool spot.
  7. Meanwhile, wash and sterilise some 680 ml glass jars and lids by submerging them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  8. Drain the vegetables well and mix them with the olive oil in a large bowl.
  9. Place a little vinegar in each jar and tightly pack the vegetables into the jars, sprinkling some pickling spices over the top. Place the bay leaves, peppercorns and sugar into the jars as you go. Cover the vegetables with vinegar, then expel the air from the jars by banging them lightly on a work surface. Ensure that all of the vegetables are submerged. If necessary, pour in some extra oil, and then secure the lids. Place the jars in a cool, dark place and store for a month for the flavours to develop and mature, before eating. After opening, store in the refrigerator.
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