Rita’s pickled vegetable appetizer (giardiniera)

Preserving summer flavors: Rita's antipasto di verdure

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Summer is a season of abundance, when gardens flourish and markets overflow with delicious, fresh and crunchy veggies. But as the days grow shorter, Italian families honor an age-old tradition that enables them to capture the very essence of summer, and preserve it for the colder months ahead.

Born in the farmer families out of a commitment to not waste the summer bounty, and a need to prevent periods of food scarcity, giardiniera (“pickled vegetable mix”) is the unsung hero of Italian culinary heritage. A creation that encloses the flavors of summer, and can be savored months down the line.

This symphony of summer flavors carefully sealed within its glass confines, is an Italian pantry staple, and, as with many humble, century-old recipes, each and every family has its own specific spin to it. Today we want to share the recipe that Rita has perfected over the years, and which now manages to brighten up even the grayest of winter days.

PS: In the Ruffoni family, Rita's cherished antipasto di verdure takes center stage as an appetizer: on its own, paired with a selection of cheeses, or generously spread over crunchy bruschette. However, the possibilities are endless: add it to your omelets, use it for delicious sandwiches or let your imagination run wild!

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Meet the author

Famiglia Ruffoni

In the Ruffoni family, cooking is the language of love.
Many of our most cherished memories are linked to cooking and eating together and, even when physically apart, we always discuss old family recipes, share newly discovered ingredients and techniques, and show off our culinary creations through texts and video calls.

In this blog we share the simple, delicious recipes of the Italian heritage – as they have been handed down through generations of Ruffoni – along with our thoughts (and rants!) on all things copper.