Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Funghi sott'olio

Back in August when I was leaving Italy I picked up a magazine on preserving in the airport. I have been trying ever since to get some exciting mushrooms to try out a little preservation, but it wasn't until last weekend that I found some girolles in Waitrose. So last night I set to with a mixture of chesnut mushrooms and girolles, the recipe called for porcini but these were the next best thing.

1 kg mixed mushrooms
Half a liter of white wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
4 bay leaves
Half a teaspoon black pepper corns
Half a liter of extra virgin olive oil
Teaspoon of salt

Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth, leave small ones whole and cut larger ones in half. Heat a casserole containing the vinegar, a liter of water, the salt and pepper, the garlic segments sliced and the washed bay leaves. When a few bubbles break the surface add the fungi and simmer them for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and cover them with a cloth and leave them to dry for a day. Arrange them in a jar, putting them with the cut side towards the wall, in order to optimize the space, and making sure not to break them. Tap on the work surface to remove any spaces and fill with the oil. Seal hermetically, wrap in cloth and arrange them in a pot, cover them with water, so that there is 4-5cm above the jar and sterilize them by boiling for 20 min. Cool them, then store them in a cool dark place. Leave them to rest for a month before opening them. They should keep for 8-9 months.

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