A basic, shelf stable recipe for salted wild mushrooms in brine. Makes 1 quart jar.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: Preservation, Salting
800grams(Scant 2 lbs) wild mushrooms, especially milkcaps and other firm mushrooms like chanterelles
350gramswateror as needed to fill the jar
1large clove garlic
1dried bay leaf
1dried hot chili, such as Thaior equivalent (optional)
1-2sprigs fresh rosemary thyme, or savory
1/8teaspooncitric acidas a preservative, or a dash of lemon juice
Blanch the mushrooms in unseasoned, rapidly boiling water until completely cooked and wilted, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, drain and cool. Save the mushroom blanching liquid for making soup, or freeze for another purpose, etc.
Pack the hot mushrooms into a wide mouth quart mason jar.
Meanwhile, bring the remaining ingredients to a rapid boil. Pick out the aromatics and stuff in the jar with the mushrooms, then pour the boiling liquid over the mushrooms and fill up the jar to cover the mushrooms completely, wiggling a chopstick or other utensil around to remove air pockets.
Screw the lid on tight, then turn the jar upside down to seal. Alternately, process the jar in a waterbath for 15 minutes.
As long as they form the hermetic seal, the salted mushrooms are shelf stable, but should be refrigerated after opening.
To use the mushrooms, soak or rinse them (generally 20-30 minutes of soaking is good for me) before using.
As they’ll still be a little salty, I've enjoyed them in fillings, sauces, and places where they can be mixed with other things that can absorb salt. You will not be sauteeing them like fresh, but, rinsed and dressed with some oil they make an decent snack and conversation piece with cold spirits, salami, cheese, olives, etc.
A note on the herbs
Fresh herbs (rosemary is pictured) are optional here, but they add a great flavor to the mushrooms that will stay. Whatever herbs you add, a little goes a long way. Rosemary, thyme, and savory are what I’d recommend to start with, and give a flavor reminiscent of cured olives to the finished product.