Conserve de Champignons à l’Huile

Mushrooms Preserved in Oil

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.

Ingredients

  • 450 g(1 lb) small firm mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • bay leaves

Method

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.

Heat a little oil in a wide pan and gently cook the mushrooms, in batches if necessary, for 10–15 minutes until they have shrunk and given up their liquid but are still soft and only lightly coloured.

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.