Cooking with grandma (Italy): Piedmontese appetizer

As suggested by its name, the Piedmontese appetizer is a speciality of the cuisine of Piedmont whose origins are rooted in the ancient farming traditions. It is usually prepared at the end of the summer, that is, a period of the year when the family garden offers a great abundance of vegetables that will be saved for the winter.
Would you like to learn how to prepare it? I’ll share with you my family’s traditional recipe. However, there are many different variations of it, which means you can add other vegetables or replace some with different ones (such as fennel or zucchini) at your will.

By Monica Nicol / 07.10.2019


1 kg of ripe tomatoes
300 g diced carrots
300 g of celery
300 g of green beans
300 g di red, yellow or green peppers
300 g of cauliflowers
300 g di baby onions
2 glasses of white vinegar
1 glass of extra virgin olive oil
1 spoon of salt
2 spoons of sugar

You’ll need 6 or 7 glass jars with airtight caps.


First of all, cut the tomatoes into pieces, put them in a pot on the stove, then run them through a vegetable mill.

Clean the vegetables and cut them into small pieces, as in the picture. Let them dry on a kitchen towel.

Then, put the tomatoes back on the stove. Once they start boiling, add carrots, green beans and celery; stir them with a spoon and let them boil for 15 minutes.
Repeat the steps with cauliflower and baby onions and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes.

To conclude, add peppers, oil, white vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir the mixture and let it boil for 5 more minutes.

Let the mixture rest until it cools down completely. In the meantime, soak the glass jars in hot water in order to sterilize them. After drying them, fill the jars with the mixture and close them with airtight caps.
Place the jars in a big pot, cover them with water and sterilize them in bain-marie (35-40 minutes starting when the water boils).

It’s ready! Once the water has cooled down, all you have to do is dry the jars and store them in the pantry for the upcoming winter.

Last but not least, here’s some advice for consumption: the appetizer should be served at room temperature and, if you like, you can add some tuna, olives, mushrooms in oil or even hard-boiled eggs.

Enjoy your meal!


Monica Nicol (Italy)

Studies: Translation

Languages: Italian, English, Spanish, Catalan

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