Co-chefs Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns have made fermented and pickled foods a defining part of their menu at Bar Tartine, and these Pickled Mushrooms from their newly released cookbook, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, deliver on their promise of addictiveness. Whole button mushrooms are first roasted, then pickled in a garlicky, paprika-laced paste (the paprika giving them a "strong Hungarian accent," as they say in the headnote). Slightly sweet with brown sugar and invigorated with lemon zest and herbs, these mushrooms are no two-note pickle. They have a complexity of flavor that lets them stand on their own as a snack or side. They come together quickly with store-bought substitutions, or you can go the scenic route and make the red wine vinegar, dried marjoram, sweet paprika, sweet onion powder, and garlic powder. I can only imagine they'd taste even better with a hefty splash of self-satisfaction.
Notes: It's important to note that their measurement of salt is based specifically on the use of Diamond brand kosher salt; even other kosher salts have different weights by volume, so the amounts would not be the same.
There was one small oversight within the recipe: only one of the two tablespoons of oil in the ingredient list are accounted for in the body of the recipe (tossed with the mushrooms before roasting). I assume the other tablespoon is added to the brine.
Unlike many of their pickles, these only have to hang out in the brine for 2 hours before they're ready to nosh. However, the longer the flavors have to meld and mellow, the better; I thought that they really hit their stride after about 2 days.
- 1 lb/455 g button mushrooms
- 2 tbsp filtered sunflower or grapeseed oil
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup/60 ml red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 2 tbsp sweet paprika, powdered
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tsp sweet onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Minced zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. In a large roasting pan, combine the mushrooms with 1 tbsp of the oil and 1 1/2 tsp of the salt and toss to coat. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, parsley, marjoram, paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon zest, pepper, and the remaining 1 1/2 tsp salt and mix well. Add the warm mushrooms and stir and toss to coat the mushrooms evenly. Chill the mushrooms completely in the refrigerator before serving, about 2 hours. Transfer the mushrooms and brine to one or more nonreactive containers and refrigerate for up to 1 month.