Just like picking fruit and making preserves, gathering mushrooms and marinating them is a Russian classic. The weekend pastime harkens back to a time when communist citizens were free from the dictatorship of consumerism and social networks, and Muscovites could enjoy the simple comforts of their suburban datchas without spending hours in traffic jams and taking out half a dozen bank loans.
This recipe is loosely adapted from Anya von Bremzen’s Please to the Table. I like my marinated mushrooms with a relatively low level of acidity so I can still taste the mushrooms. The downside is that the brine probably isn’t suited for long-term preservation, so be sure to eat them all within a few days. Regular readers of this blog won’t be surprised to see me using wild mushrooms. Porcini work great, and can be coupled with other spring vegetables. Chanterelles are equally suitable, and it seems that they’re available year-round nowadays, most likely as imports from all corners of the world.
Marinated wild mushrooms
Yields about 1 pint
15 oz water
1 g (1/4 tsp) sugar
0.4 oz salt
0.4 oz lemon juice
9 oz cleaned wild mushrooms (such as porcini or chanterelles), cut into 1 to 1.5″ pieces
0.9 oz peeled spring garlic, cut lengthwise
0.75 oz sherry vinegar
1/2 bay leaf
4 small sprigs dill
3 sprigs thyme
12 caraway seeds
3 black peppercorns
- Place the water, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms and garlic, stir, cover with a lid, and cook over low heat for 8 minutes.
- Pass through a chinois. Measure 7.5 oz of the liquid (discarding the rest), and add the vinegar. In a sterilized pint jar, alternate the mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf, dill, thyme, caraway and peppercorn. Fill the jar with the liquid, seal, and refrigerate.
- The mushrooms can be kept in the fridge for a few days.