In the tradition of good country living there is much preserving in the Ardèche. Here is a more delicious way of storing September’s mushrooms than freezing or drying them. If you have some small unopened field mushrooms they are excellent – otherwise use cultivated button mushrooms. Add the preserved mushrooms to winter salads or serve them as part of an hors d’oeuvre; they are also good in hot vegetable dishes.
Wipe the mushrooms with a cloth but do not peel them if they are sound. Remove a sliver from the base of each stalk but leave the stalks in place.
Drain the mushrooms on kitchen paper and allow to cool completely. Then pack into a lidded jar. Tuck in a bay leaf or two and cover with olive oil. Screw the top down tightly.
Keep the jar in a very cool, dark place or the refrigerator. Keep for 2–3 weeks before using.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.