Remember when I told you that I’ve never won anything? Not entirely true.
Folks. If you’ve never spent time in the midwest, book yourself a flight. Check out the sights, the sounds and the eats. Amongst the yummy goods you’ll encounter, if you’re lucky, giardiniera will be among them.
Kelsey D’s is a Chicago-based company and makes a giardiniera (which is, appropriately, Italian for “gardener”) that uses a blend of fresh, garden-grown peppers, carrots, cauliflower, celery and gherkins marinated with oils and spices. It’s a traditional Italian condiment but is yummy enough to be added to really any style of cooking. It’s pronounced “jar-di-NAIR-a” but it doesn’t matter because your mouth will be full of the stuff and no one wants to hear you speak with a full mouth, anyway.
These bad boys have been hanging out in my pantry since the beginning of the month because we’ve had so many guests
and sometimes I just don’t want to share with different dining palates, we held on to them until we had time to experiment.
After tonight’s meal, I’m disappointed I missed three weeks of my life, during which I could have been enjoying Kelsey D’s. But incredibly, selfishly glad I’ve managed to hoard the stuff for myself (and a few bites for J, when he begged).
Tonight, I made the most delicious bruschetta I’ve ever had the pleasure of introducing to my belly. I didn’t follow the Kelsey D bruschetta recipe because a.) I’m a poor planner and b.) it used salami. But if I could toot my own horn, I would. It was that good.
Lizzy’s Bruschetta (ft. Kelsey D’s giardiniera)
2 TBSP olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 can organic, diced tomatoes in tomato juice
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
2 tsp italian seasoning
smidge of sea salt
dash of ground black pepper
1/3-1/2 c. Kelsey D’s giardiniera (I used “hot”)
2 slices provolone cheese (optional)
additional olive oil for brushing
dash of ground black pepper
In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the garlic. Saute for a minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, green pepper, italian seasonings, salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add a healthy portion of giardiniera, 1/3 to 1/2 a cup. This stuff is good so you can’t really use too much. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
When the mixture begins to simmer, slice the baguette into 1/3 to 1/2 thick pieces. Brush each side with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. Add a pinch of sea salt to each piece and bake in the oven at 375° for about 10 minutes. Spoon a healthy amount of the tomato/giardiniera mixture on each piece and put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, if so desired, add a small piece of provolone (or mozzarella) to each piece and continue to bake until melted. I made a few without cheese and they were also very, very good. Serve hot, warm or even room temperature because any way you eat them, they’re awesome.
Today is July 31 and, subsequently, the end of our 30 days of vegetarian eating. I can’t say I really noticed and don’t foresee a big change in our habits once the clock strikes midnight. But more on that tomorrow…
Have you ever had giardiniera? What’s your favorite Italian food?