Here's one version of my Giardiniera
- 125 g of sliced carrots
- 125 g of sliced celery
- 125 g of seeded and sliced Jalapeno or Serrano peppers or a combination of different peppers
- 150 g of sliced sweet peppers
- 140 g pickled double stuff garlic and Jalapeno olives (Sliced)
- 300 g of Cauliflower (make sure they are very tiny florets)
- 300 g Pearl Onions (I love these little guys)
- 200 g of Marinated or of 100 g raw Garlic
- 200 g Julienned Sundried Tom packed in Olive Oil
- 4 grams of finely ground pepper
- 100 grams of Salt
- 2 g of Bail
- 2 g Oregano
- 6 g Crushed Red Pepper (or more)
- 2-4 grams of granulated garlic unless of course you used fresh garlic instead of marinated garlic.
- Lots of Vinegar White, Champagne or which ever you prefer.
- Olive Oil
Let's put it all together. It's not my intention to give you a lesson on canning or Botulism but it becomes a threat when you mix veggies in oil or a combo of vinegar and oil and it's not kept at the correct refrigerated temps or the proper PH. Of course you want to a avoid the danger zone (40-140 degrees). All this can be mitigated if the Ph is below 4.6. Note: there are reports that botulism can still grow at low refrigerator temps but just at a much slower rate.
Yes you can toss everything above into a bottle and refrigerate and the chances are it will be fine. Of course you can mitigate some of these concerns by adding vinegar which is part of the recipe and vinegar tastes great too (I am ultra paranoid about Food contamination). Vinegar (or citric acid, citrus etc) is the key to lowering the PH of food that makes it safer to consume and improves shelf life. The reason high acid levels are needed is to prevent the germination of Botulism spores into the Botulism toxin. The Botulism spores can only develop into the Botulism toxin in low acid, oxygen free environments.
When you think about Ph and boiling it's normally associated with canning. Although we are not canning here (an option of course) I want to prepare this Giardiniera as if we were to mitigate any potential harmful organisms that could find its way into my food.
When you preserve something in a boiling water bath canner, you heat the jars and their contents to the boiling point. That heat is enough to kill off the microorganisms that can cause spoilage, mold and fermentation, and or other nasty stuff but it's not enough to kill botulism spores. If the Ph of the food you are canning or storing is below 4.6 you are good to go. My Giardiniera could be caned safely because I do everything as if I was going to Cann. So with that I prefer the Hot Pack method even though I will not be canning. Hot packing is the practice of heating freshly prepared food to boiling (not a vigorous boil), simmering it for 2-5 minutes and promptly filling jars. I do everything but the canning process but if I wanted to I could because the Ph is below 4.6. How do I know it is??? I a have Ph. meter.
Cut Up all the veggies and place in a colander. Of course this does not include the pickled double stuff garlic and Jalapeno olives, or the Julienned Sundried Tom packed in Olive Oil. If you're using marinated garlic this too is not included. Anyhow after they're all cut up place in colander over large bowl.
Evenly coat veggies with salt and let drain for 6-12 hours. This will help draw out excess moisture. If you have a cool place to set the bowl don't worry about about refrigerating them. After the elapsed time rinse the veggies thoroughly under cold water.
Now toss everything in a large bowl. Now we need to figure about how much Vinegar and Olive oil to add. The goal is to have everything submerged at least one inch below the surface. We are going to use the displacement method to calculate the volume needed to accomplish this. Fill the bowl up with water containing the veggies and all the other ingredients (except the spices, herbs , salt , and pepper) at least one inch above the veggie line. Drain water into large measuring container and note the volume. This is the amount of liquid you need to cover the veggies.
Now here is the tricky part for calculating the Vinegar to Olive oil ratio. My goal is to keep the Ph below 4.6 to keep everything safe so the question is how much Vinegar to Olive oil should we use? Based on my Calculations the volume of Olive oil cannot exceed 55% of the total volume. At 55% the Ph will be below 4.3. Better safe than sorry. Personally I like about 25-30% of olive oil and the rest Vinegar. Here is an example....To calculate how much Olive oil is needed for a known Volume multiply that % by the total volume needed. I.E if the total Volume needed is 350 ml and you want 30% of it to be Olive oil you would multiply 350 * 30% = 105 ml of Olive Oil. You would than subtract 350 from 105 to calculate the needed Vinegar. 350 -105 = 245 ml of Vinegar.
Now that you have figured out how much Vinegar and Olive oil you need it's time to sterilize and prepare the Giardiniera. Take all the above ingredients and place in sauce pan big enough to hold it all. Bring the saucepan to a light boil/simmer and simmer for 3-5 minutes. This will kill all the nasty stuff and since we know the Ph is way below 4.6 we don't need to worry about Botulism either.....mission accomplished. My suggestion is to transfer the Giardiniera to a storage container and cool rapidly.
From the Colorado State University