- 1kg (2.lb) forest mushrooms, such as shiitakes, morels, chanterelles, porcini, cep, trumpet and oyster mushrooms
- 400 ml (1. cups) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to cover the mushrooms in the jar if necessary
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tblsp sherry wine vinegar
- salt and black pepper
- Remove the shiitake stems, along with any other stems that are tough, and discard them or set them aside for another use (such as in a vegetable stock). Trim the ends off the other stems, as well as any bruised areas. You now need to cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces (bear in mind that they will shrink as they cook).
- Tear larger mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and leave small mushrooms whole.
- Score the large mushrooms so that they absorb the pickling juices.
- Pour the oil into a large wide saucepan, then add the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Stir in the smoked paprika and heat the oil until it reaches 75oC (167oF).
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and toss gently in the oil to coat. Cook for 5 minutes, gently turning from time to time. The mushrooms will not be submerged in the oil initially but, as they cook, they will wilt and submerge.
- Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the vinegar and season with salt and black pepper. Leave the mushrooms to steep for at least 1 hour. Transfer the mushrooms and aromatic oil into sterilized containers and, if necessary, pour in more olive oil to cover the mushrooms. Keep refrigerated and use within 1 month.
- Remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving to bring back to room temperature.
Kevin says, "These mushrooms are wonderful served hot with meats or as a base for fish. They are also good cold – as a condiment, a component of a salad, or even as the main ingredient, garnished with shaved radishes and similarly preserved tomatoes. Use a variety of mushrooms for textural and taste contrast."
Makes about 1.5kg (3lb 5oz)