My serrano pepper plant was producing a fair crop of peppers, they were ripening and some were past ripe and starting to dry out. I picked all the ripe ones with a vague idea that I would dry them, or something. Inspiration struck as I was spooning hot Chicago style giardiniera over yesterday’s Italian beef.Look at all those little pepper chunks! Those are serranos, still green, as you will almost always see them. Our giardiniera selection is limited at this end of the state, there may be one variety of it on the shelves if we’re lucky. My local Kroger doesn’t carry any, unlike Chicago area stores.
Fortunately, there are tons of recipes on line. There are plenty of variations – this version has ripe and green serranos, green bell peppers, carrots, celery, onions, olive oil, white vinegar, dried oregano, black pepper, garlic, celery seed, and a 5 oz. jar of chopped green salad olives with pimentos.To prepare it, stir a half cup of salt into the raw veggies, add water to cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next day rinse thoroughly to get rid of the salt, then add equal measures of vinegar and olive oil, stir in the garlic, the drained olives, and other seasonings. I hesitate to list quantities, for this batch I used 1 cup each of vinegar and oil, a couple tablespoons of minced garlic, and just eyeballed the rest. This will store in the fridge so I won’t try to process it further for stable shelf storage. I bet these will be pretty hot – I’ll let you know after they spend a few days coming together.