I've mentioned a number of times about the benefits of my low acid mushroom conserve recipe. It's easy to think of pickled chanterelles and other mushrooms purely as something to eat cold of out a jar, but that's not why I pickle them. I preserve mushrooms in acidic liquid since it's the best way to keep their texture as close to fresh as possible.
Recently I held a dinner where I got to show off my new favorite way to serve the mushroom preserves: warmed up on a flat top griddle, topped with a slice of brie, and served with some grilled sourdough and a salad of foraged greens from the farm. I got a lot of questions about the greens, here's the blend I came up with in August-cutting from the areas around the gardens that are routinely cut back during the season.
A few greens I love raw in salad (tender growth only)
- Various species of Lamb's quarters (these make up the majority of the blend as they're the most pleasant raw)
- Various species of amaranth (burdundy and green)
- Young, non-flowering tips of galinsoga
- Purslane tips
- Nasturtiums (cultivated)
- Young mallow leaves
- Virginia waterleaf (a few leaves)
Flowers and buds
It reminded me of something I'd have dining at a little restaurnat in France, and it was my favorite of the 5 courses I served at the meal. Here's a basic method of how I served it, it's very simple.
Warm Pickled Chanterelles with Brie, Sourdough and Foraged Greens
- A few slices of sourdough or high quality bread/person
- 1 ounce of triple cream brie or another brie / person
- Wild greens or high quality salad mix cleaned and picked into manageable pieces see an example of a blend here
- Whole leaves of herbs like basil, cilantro and mint
- Flowers: borage comfrey, nasturtiums, cilantro, etc (optional)
- Conserve chanterelles or another pickled mushroom about 2 tablespoon / person
- Balsamic vinegar to taste or another vinegar that's slighlty sweet, like white balsamic
- Extra virgin olive oil or another salad oil to taste
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 30 minutes before serving, set out the brie and cut into slices to get to room temperature. Remove the chanterelles or other mushrooms from their pickling liquid and allow to drain.
- Warm the chanterelles in a pan or on a griddle until hot throughout. then put in a salad or entree bowl, topping them with the slices of brie. Allow the brie to melt and get soft for minute or two, by this time it should be at the "oozing" stage (if you have a blowtorch you can flash it quick, but it's not a big deal, just make sure the brie is at room temp and you're fine).
- Lightly oil and grill or toast the sourdough. Reserve.
- Meanwhile, combine the greens with the whole herb leaves and dress the salad with a bit of balsamic, oil, salt and pepper to taste, mound it into a bowl along side the mushrooms, and a few slices of toasted bread for each person. Serve the salad communally, passing around the table, spoon the warm mushrooms and cheese on the toast alongside the salad.