Sunday, June 28, 2015

Homemade Spicy Giardiniera

I don't know about you, but my summertime recipes are all about keeping it simple and light.  This usually involves grilling in one way or the other - and trust me, I take full advantage of the 5 months of the year that it's actually enjoyable to grill outside in Cleveland.  The only problem with grilling a few nights of the week is that your burgers, chicken and brats can be a little on the mundane side if you're preparing them the same way every time.  BUT, I can save you with a little topping called Giardiniera, a bold, spicy, olive-oil-and-vinegar based mixture of bell peppers, hot peppers, onions, cauliflower, carrots, garlic and herbs.  It will knock any hot dog, brat or burger that you make out of the park!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking,  "I can go to my grocery store and buy a nice jar of Giardiniera for less than $4."  Well, you could do that.  Or you can make it yourself, know exactly what ingredients are inside, and have total control on the sodium and heat level.  Have you noticed how hard it is to find things that are spicy but flavorful anymore??

In my family, we like our Giardiniera HOT.  So when I made this batch for my dad for Father's Day, I went a little crazy and added 8 serrano peppers and 5 jalapeno peppers, in addition to the red pepper flakes, of course!  If you're not a fan of heat, know that I'm finally starting to acquire the love-of-all-things-spicy gene that I was missing for the first 24 years of my life, but am still a little green with things like hot peppers.  I can assure you, most bites aren't too bad, unless you get one full of serrano peppers!  If you are a huge fan of heat, we can just hope my tolerance is going up!  Or you can add 2 more serrano peppers...

Either way, you must try this Spicy Giardiniera recipe to up the flavor of your favorite grilling classics!

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