Happy MaddAddam day! I will receive my copy in the mail today and plan to begin reading it as soon as I get home from work.
As promised, here is the alternate version of my interpretation of Pilar’s Pickled Mushroom Medley from The Year of the Flood.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, start with this previous post about version 1.
What makes this recipe so perfectly God’s Gardener-esque is the option to use any fun fungi (hur hur hur) you can get your hands on — extra points if you forage them. However, I have added some specific instructions for the mushrooms I used. I also like the use of the dark vinegar over strictly white or apple cider; it seems more like something that would have been fermented in the Vinegar Room from the dregs of wine scavenged from nightclub dumpsters by the Young Bioneers. The only thing distinctly un-Gardener about it is that it must be refrigerated.
Pilar’s Pickled Mushroom Medley #1 is great for stabbing with toothpicks for a cocktail snack (or, let’s be real, a standing-over-the-sink-with-a-fork snack). On the other hand, #2 is more well suited to eat as a side dish with a fork or, even better yet, as a building block in other main dishes. Imagine a scoop of these flavorful ‘shrooms on a sandwich, salad or pasta — the herbed oil and vinegar acts as a built in dressing.
Pilar’s Pickled Mushroom Medley #2 – Refrigerated
Adapted from Herbed Marinated Mushrooms from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich
Makes 1 quart
3/4 cup olive oil, separated
approximately 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms, mixed varieties of your choice, stems trimmed or removed as appropriate (I recommend roaming your local Asian market)
5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
5 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, stems sliced short
5 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, stems sliced short
5 ounces fresh oyster mushrooms, torn into bite-sized pieces
5 ounces fresh enoki mushrooms, bottom of stems removed
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup finely diced onion
2 tablespoons diced pimento
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
4 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped from woody stalk (or 1 teaspoon dried)
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon pickling salt
Rinse all mushrooms to remove dirt or debris. Trim or remove woody stems as needed, depending on mushroom variety. If mushrooms are particularly large, cut into bite sized pieces if desired.
In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté, covered, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and sauté again until tender. If your varieties differ greatly in shape or tenderness, add them in an order that will prevent you from overcooking the more fragile ones. (For my mixture, I cooked the white button, crimini, and shiitake for 5 minutes. Then I added the oyster and cooked 5 minutes more. Then the enoki, and cooked for 2 minutes more.)
Once tender, drain any excess liquid if necessary and transfer mushrooms to a heatproof bowl.
Combine garlic, onion, and vinegar in a medium non-reactive saucepan. Simmer gently for about 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add pimento, herbs, bay leaf, salt, and remaining olive oil. Heat until just boiling, then pour over mushrooms and toss to coat.
Pack the mushrooms into a clean quart jar. Top with a lid (used is fine since it will not be processed) and screw a ring on to close. Let cool, then place in the refrigerator. (Because the jar contents are hot, you may find that the lid “seals” — this does not make it shelf-stable!)
Let the mushrooms pickle for about a week before eating. In the fridge, the oil may solidify and turn opaque — this is normal. Bring to room temperature before serving and the oil will become liquid again.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.