At some now distant point in the past, I bought a number of cookbooks from a series published by HPBooks. This recipe is adapted from the one in The Book of Antipasti (Book of…) by Lyn Rutherford. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for marinated mushrooms, but this is the best one I’ve found.
These mushrooms have often been the highlight of parties over the years, and if you make it, you’ll realize how seriously easy it is. The mushrooms have to be prepared in advance, so that means one less thing to do when guests are on their way.
- 1 pound button mushrooms (or a mix of button and other mushrooms), left whole if small, thickly sliced otherwise
- 1¼ cups white or white wine vinegar
- 1¼ cups water
- peel from one lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler in strips; yellow only
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- extra-virgin olive oil, at least 1-¼ cup but enough to cover the mushrooms in their jar
- A mason or other jar (with lid), filled with boiling water to sterilize and dried in a 200 degree oven.
- Put all ingredients except for mushrooms, garlic, and olive oil in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil.
- When the mixture has come to a boil, add the mushrooms and cook for 8 to 10 minutes; they will shrink quite a bit.
- Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and allow to cool and dry a little on several layers of paper towels; drain the rest of the liquid through a sieve, catching the spices, bay leaves, and strips of lemon peel. Reserve the retained spices etc. with the mushrooms.
- When the mushrooms have shed some of their exterior moisture and have cooled enough to be manageable, put them in the prepared jar along with the spices and the sliced garlic. Make sure that the slices of garlic are distributed among the mushroom mixture.
- Poor in olive oil until the mushrooms are a little more than covered; do not fill the jar.
- Refrigerate the mushrooms in their jar, preferrably for seven days, but at least four. Shake vigorously once or twice a day. At a certain point, the temperature in the refrigerator will make the oil congeal around the mushrooms into a solid. Do not worry. Before shaking, put the jar on the counter for 20 minutes or so; the oil will liquify soon, and you can shake to your heart’s content.
- To serve, drain the mushrooms, but do keep as much of the spices, bay, and lemon peel. (They look good with the mushrooms.) The bay leaves should not be eaten; the lemon peel can be, as it has been thoroughly pickled.