The raw pack method used in this recipe adapted from Preservation Pantry: Modern Canning From Root to Top & Stem to Core ensures a crisp, crunchy pickle.
When choosing Brussels Sprouts for this recipe, look for small, tight heads as opposed to older, larger heads. The smaller heads slice better and are less likely to harbor aphids in between the layers of leaves. Beautiful, psychedelic, green vegetables in a pink brine. Crunchy and delicious, too. The mint is a surprising and worthwhile ingredient.
Makes about 6 pints
Prepare a water bath canner and 6-pint jars. Get the water ready, and keep the jars hot in the boiling water while you prepare the rest of the giardiniera
Wash the Brussels Sprouts and Romanesco under cold running water.
Divide the Romanesco into florets, discarding or saving for another use the stems and leaves. Slice the florets into bite-sized slices or wedges. Cut the Brussels Sprouts in half lengthwise, and from there into wedged quarters or 1/8” slices, depending on size and preference.
Place the Brussels sprouts and Romanesco in a large bowl. Dissolve the salt in 4 tablespoons cold water, and pour over the vegetables. Toss to ensure all are well-coated, then, using your hands, gently massage the salty brine into the vegetables for 3 minutes. When finished, place the vegetable mixture into the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes.
While the vegetables chill, combine the red wine vinegar, 3 cups water, mustard seed, mint, oregano, and black pepper in a large, non-reactive saucepan. Bring the brine to a boil over high heat. Once hot and bubbling, turn the heat down to low and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.
Toss the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper with the vegetables. If you’re feeling spicy, massage the peppers into the florets and folds of the veggies, so that the spice is worked into the body of the vegetables.
Pour the steeped vinegar brine through a strainer into a pitcher or half gallon canning jar, to catch the seeds and herbs.
Remove the canning jars from the hot water bath. Keep the kettle boiling, to minimize heat loss.
Divide the spices from the strainer evenly into the bottom of each canning jar.
Pack and stack the raw vegetables into the hot jars, on top of the seeds and herbs.
Top the jars with brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Tap to remove trapped air bubbles and top off with more brine, if needed.
Place the jars in the boiling water bath canner, and process for 10 minutes once the water has resumed boiling.
After 10 minutes, remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter and gently set on a clean towel. Allow cooling before storing in a cool, dark place. Check that your jars have sealed properly. Jars that have not properly sealed can be stored in the refrigerator or eaten immediately.
Fancy Romanesco and Brussels Sprout Giardiniera make cheese plates fun! Also excellent on sandwiches and pizza, or speared on sticks with mint leaves in a Bloody Mary.
If you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything.
It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old-fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.