Tonight I’m going to a reading of a writers’ group I have belonged to for a number of years. The reading is an occasional thing where everyone brings something they have written to read to the group, something to drink, and something to eat. It’s really a pot luck poetry reading.
For food, I decided to make a batch of Diane’s marinated mushrooms. The recipe came from the wife of the first colleague I recruited to my department in Shreveport over 40 years ago. The dish was so popular with the family – except, of course, those who don’t like mushrooms – that it received a spot in our family cookbook. Marinated mushrooms are very easy to make and perfect for a cocktail hour or for a buffet. The two things that require special attention are to start early enough to get the mushrooms well-marinated and to buy the smallest whole mushrooms you can find.
Diane’s Marinated Mushrooms
- 1 cup wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced chives
- 2 teaspoons minced parsley
- several whole peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 quarts water
- juice of one lemon
- 1½ pounds button mushrooms
- Prepare the marinade by combining in a quart jar the vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar, bay leaf, pepper, chives, parsley peppercorns, pickling spice, and garlic. Set aside.
- In a large pot, bring the water to the boil. Add lemon juice, and then the mushrooms. Return to the boil, and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and cool the mushrooms.
- In a non-reactive container, combine the mushrooms and marinade. Marinate for 24 to 48 hours, stirring occasionally. The mushrooms will shrink in size.
- When you are ready to serve, drain and remove the bay leaf and, if desired, peppercorns and bits of pickling spices. Serve with toothpicks. If you can’t find button mushrooms, you can halve or quarter larger mushrooms.