All over Eastern Europe and in Russia, pickled mushrooms are extremely popular, and rightly so. We had lunch once with an old lady in Prague who gave us four kinds of pickled mushrooms, some of which had an almost buttery consistency. Using a mixture of different mushrooms means there will be an interesting variation in textures and flavours. During a good autumn you could add some wild ones, too. Pickled mushrooms are delicious, eaten on their own, with cheese or fromage frais, or added to salads.
If the mushrooms have any dirt on them, wipe with a damp cloth. Only cut off the bottom of the stalks, and cut any large mushrooms in half. Add the salt to a pan of water and bring to the boil, then add the mushrooms and boil for 4—5 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and leave to cool on one side.
Pour the dry white wine and white wine vinegar into a saucepan. Stir in the caster sugar then add the onion slices, garlic, crushed peppercorns, coriander seeds and tarragon leaves. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Stir in the cooked mushrooms.
Pack the cooled mushrooms and vinegar mixture with the spices, garlic and tarragon in clean, dry jars. Make sure the mushrooms are well covered by the liquid. Spoon the olive oil over the tops. Cover tightly and leave to mature for at least 3 weeks before using. After opening, keep in the refrigerator.
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