Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One of my dad's favorite treats is jardiniere.  I remember when he and his friend would open a jar and eat it usually with Mexican food and beer.  Both would become red in the face and sweat would pop out on their foreheads.  I always thought it looked like a painful food to eat, but they both assured me that it was quite good.

For years afterward I had wanted to make jardiniere for my dad but never managed to get around to it.  This year I had so many fresh veggies from my garden that I decided it was time.  This one is for you, Dad!

Good jardiniere starts with fresh ingredients. Well, good anything starts with fresh ingredients, but you know what I mean.  I was lucky enough to get most of the ingredients from my garden, including the herbs.  I omitted the mushrooms, substituting hot peppers (jalapeno and Hungarian hot wax), and added celery I bought from the store.  If I had been thinking I would have picked up some cauliflower as well.  Oops.  At this time I should probably let you know that I started with the recipe in the Ball Blue Book.

Fresh Veggies 
Fresh harvest from the garden, except for the celery

I spent the next hour or so chopping the vegetables into fairly uniform sizes.  The sweet peppers were cut into strips and the onions were sliced. Because I think it looks neat, I cut the hot peppers into rounds.  All of the cut vegetables and herbs were put in a large bowl.  While I was chopping, the cider vinegar and pickling spices were coming to a boil on the stove.  Unless you are seriously congested, do not put your face over the boiling cider vinegar/spice mixture and inhale, it may cause pain.

Ask me how I know this.

After all the vegetables were sliced and the cider vinegar mixture comes to a boil, add the veggies to the pot, stir and heat just until they become tender.  These will be getting a boiling water bath in a bit, so be sure not to overcook them.  Nobody like mushy jardiniere.

Veggies Pot

Veggies cooking in the pot.

While the veggies were cooking, I put my sterilized jars on the rack suspended above the water in my canning pot to heat them up.  Putting hot ingredients into cold jars can cause breakage, so better to be safe than sorry.

I packed each jar with the veggies and ladled the hot liquid over, leaving about 1/4" of headspace.  Check for air pockets and bubbles, I like to use a clean chopstick to release the bubbles.   Add a little more liquid if necessary, seal and process in boiling water according the the recipe directions.  Times vary according to altitude.  Remove the jars to a towel or tray to cool and admire the pretty colors!


Oooh, pretty!

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