Giardiniera: A Mid-West Delight

When I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles I didn't realize that certain things are ONLY in the Mid-West.  Western dressing is one (I LOVE the irony) and giardinera is another.  These are two essentials that I have been packing in my bag and bringing back with me on my trips. Unfortunately, thanks to the lovely TSA and airlines charging for bags - that little exchange has ended.  For this past Fourth of July weekend sausages, I was forced to make my own giardinera;  it was about time actually.  I'm personally shocked that i haven't done this yet.  In my house, this stuff goes on EVERYTHING:  eggs at breakfast time, sausages, pizza, sandwiches - all of it. I'm surprised I don't put it on ice cream.

I based my weekend creation on this recipe from The Chicago Tribune but ended up using some nice olive oil from Global Gardens.  I also doubled the olives and Serrano peppers because not unlike Marilyn Monroe, I like it H O T.