As I would be in Italy by the time this event finishes I've decided to think ahead and make that ultimate Italian Pickle - Giardiniera.
Giardiniera is a staple on antipasto platters - a mix of vegetables preserved in a vinegar based liquid. Its aim is to preserve vegetables at the peak of their season, the crunch in the vegetables a nod to their freshness.
There's no hard and fast ingredient list but you normally find things such as cauliflower, onion, carrot, beans and peas, red capsicum, celery and zucchini to name but a few. The preserving liquid is basically made from 2 parts white wine vinegar to 1 part water to which sugar and salt are added to create a balanced brew. Seasoning such as peppercorns and bay leaf are also used.
The best part is that its pretty much read to eat once you've made it.
1 fennel, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
4 small white onions, cut into eights
2 carrots, peeled and cut at the diagonal
2 celery stalks, cut at the diagonal
½ cauliflower, cut into even sized florets
2 parts white wine vinegar
1 part water
Place the white wine vinegar and water into a large pot and heat it. Add sugar and salt and stir until it dissolves - taste and then adjust the seasoning levels.
Once you have prepared the vegetables add them into the liquid according to their cooking time - the harder vegetables go in first, the softest go in last. Simmer until they have softened slightly but still retain a bit of crunch.
When they are ready pour into preserving jars and seal.
They should keep in a cool spot or you could eat them once they have cooled completely.
In case this recipe isn't authentic enough then here's a photo taken yesterdy of real Italian pickles at Eataly in Turin