Life isn't too short to pickle a mushroom

As a self-titled "Queen of the shortcut", I am always looking for things that take mere minutes to prepare and which offer a lot of bang for their buck. Anything that is at the good end of the effort to results continuum gets made time and time again. Now I have a new addition - the quick pickled mushroom. There are a plethora of recipes that offer solutions for long term mushroom pickling and preserving, this is a more short term approach but one which delivers a whole heap of flavour and takes minutes rather than weeks.
We took some small chestnut and shitake mushrooms, dusted off any dirt and stuck them in the small pickle press. These were mixed with a level tablespoon of salt flakes and left for around forty minutes to let the water seep out. The press was turned down to apply a little pressure to the 'shrooms. We couldn't wait any longer than forty minutes (too hungry), so shook of the salt and put them into a dish with several springs of thyme and the rind from half a lemon. We added a generous twist of pepper, a glug of olive oil and a slug of cider vinegar. The quantities are a little imprecise. We were going with the classic one part vinegar to three parts oil and started off working in tablespoons to get enough liquid to generously coat them. These were left to infuse with flavour for about half an hour before we ate them. The leftovers sat in the marinade overnight and were even more delicious for this.
There you go. Takes minutes, endlessly customisable with red wine vinegar, taragon, the addition of garlic, and can be used on top of and on the side of pretty much anything. So far we have had them in salads, with steam and on top of cream cheese on sourdough. Truly yummy - this is praise indeed coming from someone with a slight mushroom phobia.


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