When you eat locally, you get used to pickling. After all, cucumbers and peppers are only in season for a couple of months, so if you want to eat them during the winter, you can buy them from South America or Mexico, or you can head down to the canning cellar (we have one), and pop open a jar pickled last summer. I’ve pickled a lot of different things, but I never thought to pickle mushrooms before we picked up a new preserving book: Preserves – The Complete Book of Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Relishes and Chutneys. While flipping through the book in preparation for a pickling party a few weeks ago, I came across a recipe I knew I had to make – pickled mushrooms. I’d never thought about pickling mushrooms.
When I started the brine for these mushrooms, the smells wafting from my kitchen to the dining room, where the rest of the pickle partiers were busy slicing and dicing were so amazing that one of the attendees immediately jumped in her car and went to the store to buy more mushrooms. She just knew this was going to be an amazing recipe and she was right. I’d say this is one of the best recipes I’ve made in a long time.
Pickled Mushrooms with Garlic, adapted slightly from Preserves
- 1 ¼ lb mixed mushrooms
- ½ pint white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp superfine sugar
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 4-5 fresh bay leaves
- 8 large, fresh thyme sprigs
- 15 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2-3 small dried red chilies
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- A few strips of lemon rind
- 1-1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil (more, as needed)
- Remove stems from mushrooms and cut mushrooms into halves or thirds. (Freeze the stems and turn them into mushroom stock later.)
- Bring the vinegar, salt, sugar and water to boil in a pan.
- In a cheesecloth pouch, secure the bay leaves, thyme, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and lemon rind.
- Add the spice packet, garlic, onions, and chilies to the vinegar, lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms to the pan and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the spice packet and drain the onion/garlic/mushroom mixture for at least 5 minutes.
- Fill one large, or two small, jars with the mushroom mixture.
- Add enough olive oil to the jar to cover the mushroom mixture by at least ½ inch.
- Leave the jars to settle, 15-30 minutes and tap the bottom of the jars on a hard surface to remove any air bubbles.
- Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
- Serve over bread, crackers, as a topping for pizza, or use in cooking.
Notes: This recipe is designed to be made and used within two weeks. I think it would probably keep for up to three or four weeks, but no guarantees. We made three pint jars worth and they certainly won’t last three weeks. It isn’t designed to be water-bath processed or pressure canned. I’m curious to know if it would be safe to process, and I’ll be asking some canning experts for their opinion, but until then, make sure that you never can anything without using an approved and tested recipe.
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