In a large pot add the water, vinegar, bay leaf and salt. Add the carrots, green beans and celery for 2 minutes then add the cauliflower, peppers and onion and cook for another three minutes. (5 minutes total)
With a slotted spoon move the vegetables to a clean bowl, then divide evenly into the sterilized jars. Be sure to press down on the veggies to remove some extra space. Top with the boiled vegetable liquid or oil*, depending on your preference. Tightly close the jars with the sterilized lids.
Place the jars in a large pot, wrap a clean tea towel around the jars so that they don't knock against each other and break while boiling. Add enough water to cover the jars and bring to a boil, continue to boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and leave the jars to cool in the pot. Place the cooled jars in a cool dry area and leave for at least a month before serving. Enjoy!
*You can use vegetable oil or olive oil. If you are doing a larger amount, then vegetable oil is fine (also cheaper).
5 minutes of cooking time makes a nice al dente (with a crunch) the vegetables, the longer you cook them the softer they become.For this recipe I used 2 two cup size jars (2 x 1/2 litre jars). I add about 1/2 cup of leftover gardiniera that I placed under oil and used the following day to make a pasta salad.