Most of the recipes online are found on generic websites and just have a bunch of cut up vegetables mixed with olive oil, which I already knew was completely wrong. There needed to be some kind of acidic kick, something to balance the aggressive heat and the fair amount of oil.
My only issue with the recipe was that it might have been a little too nice. I knew that most of the giardiniera used in Italian beef stands didn't use olive oil or apple cider vinegar. They would never spring for such luxury ingredients! So I made two versions, one substituting those ingredients for the cheaper and more neutral Canola oil and white vinegar.
Good thing, too.
The olive oil and cider vinegar version was too distracting. I preferred the clean sharp version of the white vinegar and Canola oil, probably the first time I've ever said that about a food. It's a better condiment. Next time I'll probably make it spicier and use more celery, and take out some of the red bell pepper. I'm also wondering if I could just throw some already pickled serranos into the mix. But that's for next time. For now I have jars of vegetables that I've been tossing on everything I can find. Eggs, bread, pasta...it could go on.
In a small bowl combine the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, celery seeds and a pinch of black pepper.
Add the vinegar to the bowl and stir until combined. Then slowly whisk in the oil.
Dump the vegetables into some jars and top with the oil and vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 48 hours. They will last for at least 2-3 weeks.