New guest blogger Phil and her recipe for pickled hedgehog mushrooms
“Hello” to all fellow foragers here! My name is Phil. I am a food blogger, cook and forager from Vienna, Austria, and the nice people (Matt & Silvia!) from ForagedFoods.co.uk asked me to join them and share some insights and recipes related to foraging here. And I am excited to do so!
First on my list – and requested by popular demand – is my recipe for pickled hedgehog mushrooms.
The hedgehog mushroom (Hydnum repandum) is also kown as sweet tooth or wood hedgehog and has no poisonous lookalikes. The fruit bodies of the mushroom are light and firm. That`s why I love using them in the kitchen. They are characterized by their spines (rather than gills) on the underside of the cap. Hedgehog mushrooms grow singly, scattered, or in groups on leafy spots, in both coniferous and deciduous forests. Hedgehog mushrooms my be found pretty much everywhere from Australia, Europe, northern Asia to North America. It has been listed as a vulnerable species in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and partly also in Sweden (not that we found any when we foraged the woods of south Sweden this summer).
Some mushroom books and cooks advise you to remove the spines because of their slightly bitter taste, but I have never experienced any off-taste when preparing hedgehog mushrooms. You can totally leave the spines on on young, fresh ones.
For pickling mushrooms you need a brine. I blanch mushrooms in a seasoned vinegar-brine, but conserve them in olive oil afterwards. You can use the brine for as many batches as you have (depending on how many mushrooms you found), but the more you want to preserve, the more olive oil you`ll need.
- 250ml apple cider vinegar
- 250ml water
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- some mustard or coriander seeds
- a few twigs of thyme, savory or rosemary
Clean, trim and roughly cut mushrooms.
Combine all ingredients of the brine in a large pan and bring to a strong boil until salt and sugar have dissolved.
Blanch mushrooms in batches for 3-5mins (depending of the size of you mushrooms chunks), drain and fill into clean glasses. Cover with olive oil and close tightly immediately. Continue until all mushrooms are blanched.
Those are very nice with crudité, cheeses or on a plate of tapas. Always keep remaining mushrooms covered by oil. Keeps for weeks. once opened, I store glasses in the fridge. By the way, this method also works well with chanterelles and boleti mushrooms.