Enjoy this casually elegant dish as an appetizer or snack, on a picnic, or as part of a light lunch or brunch. To make it your own, play with different combinations of vegetables in the giardinera. Note that this version is on the spicy side—to tone it down, reduce the jalapeno, the red pepper flakes, or both. Inspired by the dish Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr prepared for Food Network In Concert.
- 6 ounces nduja (Calabrian spreadable spicy pork sausage *)
- 1 jalapeno chilies (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 large carrots (sliced, thicker parts halved lengthwise before slicing)
- 1/2 stalk celery (sliced)
- 1/3 cup cauliflower florets (small)
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sliced green olives
- 2 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/2 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 12 slices toast
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (coarsely chopped)
- In a medium nonreactive bowl, combine jalapeno, carrot, celery, cauliflower and onion. In a 1-cup measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup hot water and the salt, stirring to dissolve the salt. Stir in 1/4 cup cool water, then add the brine to the bowl, plus enough additional cool water to cover the vegetables. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- Drain and rinse the vegetables, then return them to the medium bowl. Stir in olives, vinegar, garlic, oregano and pepper flakes. Recover and refrigerate for 2 days.
- Just before serving, spread toasts with ‘nduja. Use a slotted spoon to arrange the giardiniera on top. Garnish with parsley and serve.
- * Look for ‘nduja at well-stocked Italian markets and delis, and online.
- 12 crostini or 4 to 6 servings