This has already been an incredible year when it comes to mushroom foraging. The conditions have been perfect: some gentle rain, followed by sunny days and cool, but not freezing, weather. Being our freezer close to exploding, we had to find new ways to preserve these delicious gifts from the forest, and that’s how I dusted off a traditional recipe from Italy: the pickled mushrooms.
Pickled mushrooms in Italy are preserved in oil, which really is the thing that makes the biggest difference in my opinion, when compared to the ones that are preserved in water-based marinade. In time, oil absorbs the flavors of the mushrooms, so it doesn’t just cover the role of preserver, but also of enhancer of flavors, whereas in my opinion the water-based marinade has the opposite effect on the mushrooms.
Pickled mushrooms are perfect to be eaten as an appetizer, but also work great on top of pizzas, as a filling for savory pies… let your imagination go wild!
When you’ve eaten the mushrooms, don’t even consider throwing the oil away! That olive oil is full of flavor and therefore can be used in cooking.
- Sterilized glass jars
- 1 ½ liters water
- 100 ml vinegar
- 750 g wild mushrooms such as porcini slippery jack and birch bolete
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 rosemary twig
- 2-3 juniper berries
- Salt to taste
- 200-300 ml Olive oil enough to fill the jars
- Clean and slice the mushrooms.
- Bring the water and the vinegar to boil. Salt the water with a generous pinch of big grain salt.
- In the meantime, place a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the bay leaves, the thinly sliced garlic cloves, the rosemary twigs and the juniper berries.
- Boil the mushrooms for 5 minutes.
- Drain the mushrooms and place them in the pan. Fry them for 7-10 minutes. Adjust with salt.
- Let the mushrooms cool off completely and transfer them in sterilized glass jars.
- Top the pickled mushrooms with olive oil and make sure no bubbles of water are left in the jar and that the mushrooms are completely covered in oil.
- Wait for a few days before consuming the mushrooms. Store in a cool and dark place for up to half a year.
At the end of this recipe I want to use a couple of words to thank Taike for supporting my Nordic Foraging project this summer. I am truly humbled by the fact that they offered me the grant that has allowed me to work all summer long in this wonderful project which, besides the fact that it made me a better photographer and recipe developer, it’s also been culturally important as it gave the readers of this blog the chance to discover new ways of using the wild food we can find from Nordic forests and maybe stimulated some to actually go into the forest to forage. And thank you all of you, dear readers, for being here and enjoying my, dare I say, work as a photographer and recipe developer!
Nordic Foraging project by Thais FK supported by Taike