I know what you’re thinking–mushrooms can be neither fine nor sexy. But oh.
They can. And they are. In this recipe in particular. Now, these are pretty boss straight out the jar or with a sandwich or on a hamburger, but your Bad Mama Genny likes to push the envelope. Put a few in a martini and watch people gasp at your fearlessness in the face of fungi! Better yet, offer a whole bottle as a gift alongside a bottle of nice gin or vodka. (Or perhaps some cheap vodka that you’ve turned into gin, using my instructions. Or hell, you could just buy a bottle of gin named after me.)
Because nothing says “Happy Birthday” like good old-fashioned enabling.
Now, the other nice thing about this recipe is that you trim the mushrooms before pickling, so you end up with lots of little mushroom bits and bobs. And what a coincidence, I LOVE little mushroom bits and bobs!
They’re perfect for frying up in pan drippings with a little wine for a burger topping. Or throw them into a veggie burger mix. How about soup? A vegetable stir fry? See, I just KNEW you’d come around to little mushroom bits and bobs!
(Psst, remember when we talked about growing your own mushrooms? Oh, right, here. And here. And here. And here, too. Surely it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’ll pass those chilly winter nights without a homesteading project! What’s that?…you’re planning on drinking? Well, gosh…that’s a solid plan. Carry on!)
Fine and Sexy Pickled Mushrooms
Makes 6 pints
5 1/2 lbs.small, white button mushrooms
1 head garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons pickling/canning salt
4 cups white wine vinegar
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
3 teaspoons black peppercorns
Start with sterilized canning jars and lids and get a boiling water bath canner going. Now divide the peppercorns, herb sprigs, bay leaves, and smashed garlic cloves evenly amongst the jars.
Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and trim the stems super short. Save the trimmings for another use.
Slice large mushrooms in halves or quarters to maintain some kind of size uniformity. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, stir in the lemon juice, and add the mushrooms. Cook until they’re tender, about 8-10 minutes. Now. Embrace the slotted spoon. The slotted spoon is your friend. Transfer the mushrooms from the pot to two tea towel-lined cookie sheets to drain. Take care not to ignite your favorite new tea towel while doing this.
Not that I’d know.
Then divide the mushrooms evenly among the jars.
In a pot, combine the vinegar with 1 cup water and the salt, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Cook until salt is dissolved, then use a canning funnel to pour the brine in each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe the jar rims, position the lids and rings, screw them on only a wittle bit tight, and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with a towel and use a canning jar lifter to transfer the jars from the bath onto the cookie sheet. Let them sit by themselves (aww, poor mushrooms) for a day, at which point you can check the seals.
Note: Jars didn’t seal? Don’t feel like canning? No problem–just move unsealed jars into the fridge, where they’ll last for several months.