Funghi Sott’olio - Pickled Lobster Mushrooms
If you can get your mitts on some fresh lobster mushrooms they are an excellent candidate for pickling. In this classic Italian preparation mushrooms are first pickled in vinegar and then preserved in an aromatic oil to produce a mushroom that is at once brightly flavored yet earthy and unctuous. They make an assertive counterpoint to an antipasti of cured or smoked meats, a delicious and quick addition to a salad of peppery greens with crispy bacon or can be eaten, as we often do, straight from the jar.
We share this recipe with thanks to its creators at Fatted Calf.
- 1 pound of fresh, meaty wild mushrooms such as lobster or porcini
- 3 tablespoons sea salt
- 3 cups champagne vinegar
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves thinly sliced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thick strips of lemon zest
- 3 dried cayenne or arbol chiles
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- Thoroughly clean the mushrooms, trim away blemishes and slice roughly ¼ inch thick. Toss the sliced mushrooms with the salt then set in a colander to drain for one hour. Lightly rinse the mushrooms under cool running water to remove the excess salt. Transfer to a saucepan and add the vinegar.
- Bring the saucepan to a simmer over medium heat and cook the mushrooms until tender, about five to seven minutes. Transfer the mushrooms from the vinegar into a clean quart jar using a slotted spoon. Strain the mushroom flavored vinegar into another jar or bottle and reserve for a different use.
- Combine the oil, garlic, bay, lemon zest, chiles and oregano in a saucepot and heat over a low flame just until the oil is warm and the aromatics begin to release their aroma, about five to seven minutes.
- Pour the oil and aromatics over the mushrooms. If the aromatics seem crowded at the top of the jar use a butter knife or chopstick to gently prod them into the depths of the jar. If any mushrooms are poking through the top layer of oil, add additional oil to cover.
- Lid the jar and refrigerate for two to three days before using in order to allow the flavors to meld. Kept refrigerated, these mushrooms will stay delicious and vibrant for four to six weeks.
- To serve, let the jar stand at room temperature for twenty to thirty minutes, then use a clean fork to remove the mushroom slices. Leftover oil can be saved and used for bruschetta or combined with the reserved vinegar for a mushroom flavored vinaigrette.