This is my second attempt at preserving ingredients in oil and it is starting to become a favorite of mine. I made a batch of zucchini preserved in oil back in the summer and I am still enjoying them months later. Here is a summary of the basic steps (my zucchini posts provides more details): 1) use the freshest ingredients, 2) salt, dehydrate and/or pickle the ingredients, 3) cover in oil, and 4) store in the refrigerator. Not only do you get whatever it is that you preserved but you also get the flavor infused oil to make dressings or whatever else you can dream up.
This recipe was inspired once again by Preserving Italy but I did it with my own twist. First, I decided not to grill the mushrooms after they were salted and pickled because I was trying to streamline the recipe (read: I was too lazy for that part). After I was finished, I wondered if I could have skipped the salting part as well (which just draws out moisture) and simply sauteed the mushrooms, which would have drawn out the moisture and given them another layer of flavor. In the end, the flavor is mostly that of a pickle, so I can see how grilling or sauteing would be beneficial.
I also used different spices to flavor the mushrooms – instead of lemon zest, chile, bay leaf and peppercorns, I used tarragon, mustard seeds and lemon zest. The spices gave just enough flavor to make you wonder what was in it but not enough to overwhelm.
How to Use It
If you love mushrooms as much as I do, you won’t have any trouble finding ways to use these. Basically, use it anywhere you need a little bit of a pickled element. Here are some of my favorite: