Hot and Spicy Gardinera

Hot and Spicy Gardinera

2 to 3 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 pounds cauliflower, separated into small florets
5 large onions, peeled and cut into rings
12 medium carrots, peeled and cut into one inch pieces
3 large sweet red or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
6 to 12 large chile peppers, seeded and cut into half
depending on heat desired)
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 quarts white vinegar, plus more if needed
1/3 cup mixed pickling spice
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
6 whole bay leaves

In a medium saucepan of boiling water, blanch the cauliflower for 1 minute. Drain and let cool. Pack into sterilized wide mouth quart jars the cauliflower, carrots, cucumber chunks, onions, sweet peppers, hot peppers, garlic cloves, bay leaves and ginger slices, alternating them in an attractive pattern.

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, pickling spice, sugar, salt and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves. Ladle the pickling liquid into the jar. If necessary, add more vinegar to cover the vegetables. Cap and seal. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Yield: about 6 quarts.




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