Three times in the past two weeks I’ve been approached with the same type of proposition: “Hey Erin, I have X-amount of X-item… you can pickle that, right?” “Sure, unload your time sensitive goods on me and I’ll figure it out…”. The weekend before last, we ran into a friend downtown who had stumbled upon a ton of local wild oyster mushrooms (apparently it’s that time of the year). “Someone told me the best way to preserve mushrooms is to pickle them, so I’m looking for a pickler…” Local mushrooms foraged by a friend that need pickling? Heck yes, we’ll do it! Be we, I mean the beau. Aside from the occasional advice in making sure he didn’t put up botulism in a jar (“mmm, that sounds good. I’ll have that”), my only role in this here mushroom pickle was supervisor’ess. In need of inspiration, the internet was consulted and the recipe by Marisa from Food in Jars featured on In a Pickle was the winner. While our tasked bounty of fresh mushrooms only produced ~2 half pints of pickles, the byproduct was a flavor filled mushroom stock that we used in a soup later that evening.
On the topic of mushrooms, are any of you into mushroom hunting/foraging in your area? Here in New Hampshire we are starting to see the occasional hen of the woods, lions mane, and chicken of the woods. Though still scared to death… I love the whole “edible, kind of edible (what does that even mean!?), not edible” textbook differentiation between the species… nothing beats hiking around the woods looking for edible goodies.
- 1 pound fresh oyster mushrooms
- 2-1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/4 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- Wash oyster mushrooms well and chop them into pieces.
- In a large-sized, non-ionized pot, combine salt and water. Bring to a boil. Add sliced mushrooms then simmer for 8-10 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, combine vinegar, onion, salt, sugar, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil.
- When the mushrooms are done, drain them and transfer to the brine pot.
- Cook mushrooms in brine for 5 minutes.
- Divide bay leaves and garlic between 2-4 prepared half pint jars (or 2 pint jars). Pack mushrooms and onions into jars and top off with brine leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles from jars.
- Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight) and process jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner and let cool on a folded kitchen towel for 12-24 hours.
- Store in a cool, dry place for at least 48 hours before consuming. Shelf life: ~1yr.