This recipe was inspired by (you guessed it!) giardiniera, an easy and sometimes spicy Italian pickle typically served as a condiment or antipasto at least in New Jersey. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s served in Italy at all or if it’s just an Italian American thing. All I know is that, growing up in New Jersey, you get this stuff at the deli, in your sandwiches, and on every antipasto platter. And I love it.
I wanted to find a way to bring the flavors of giardiniera to something we could enjoy on a more regular basis. By roasting giardiniera vegetables, namely, cauliflower and peppers, and finishing them with red wine vinegar, you get the right vibe and a tasty side dish, all in one.
If you’re brave, don’t seed or devein the hot peppers or add more of them. I serve this with mostly Italian dishes but these veggies pair well with so much.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, and cut into bite-size florets
- 6 small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 4 Cubanelle peppers, seeded and cut into 1½- to 2-inch-thick strips (you can use sweet Italian or green bell peppers in a pinch)
- 1 to 2 fresh hot cherry peppers, seeded and deveined for mild, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 to 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the olive oil and salt. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (set the empty bowl aside to keep cleanup to a minimum) and roast until the heartier vegetables (the cauliflower and carrots) are tender all the way through and smaller ones (the peppers) are caramelized in spots, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and carefully transfer to the bowl you’ve set aside. Toss with red wine vinegar to taste. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Sprinkle with parsley, if using. Toss one more time and serve immediately.