Pickled vegetables are a very versatile and enjoyable side dish. Their glittering colors, crisp texture and sweet-and-sour taste are perfect for a variety of uses and occasions. There's no doubt that pickled vegetables could be called the 'queen' of Italian hors d'oeuvres, and are perfectly suited as an accompaniment to cold cuts and cheeses. They also lend themselves very well to being served with an aperitif, perhaps in the centre of the dining table with small colored forks. But they're also great in a "fast food" sandwich when hunger strikes suddenly, perhaps accompanied by your favorite slice of salami. Or, in the middle of winter, they're just right with roast or stewed meat. They give character and colour to a fillet of steamed fish, providing an original and rather more defined flavour! In short, there are many uses for this easy dish which packs a powerful punch.
Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to the water and bring to the boil. In the meantime, wash and prepare all the vegetables: divide the cauliflower into individual florets and cut the celery, carrot and pepper into short batons. Trim the green beans. When the water is boiling, cook the cauliflower and carrot for 3 minutes; then add the celery, green beans and peppers for another 3 minutes. When cooked, remove the vegetables from the water and leave them on a teatowel to cool. Wait for the cooking/pickling liquid to cool down like the vegetables, then place everything in jars in any arrangement you like, but separating the vegetables so as to alternate colours. Fill the jars with the cooking/pickling liquid, removing as many air bubbles from the jars as possible. Seal the jars and store in the pantry.