Marinated mushrooms are a staple on any antipasti plate, and if you can get porcini, which are popping in the Rockies now, so much the better. Here’s how to do the technique the Italians call sott’olio.
Find It Fast
Whole books and websites are dedicated to preservation recipes, so what follows is merely my collection of about three dozen recipes for pickles, ferments and salted foods.
Not all are wild, in fact many are done with vegetables from my garden. You will also see recipes for pickled and dried meats and fish, too.
I have kept a garden for decades, and I preserve a lot of the harvest, so you'll see plenty of preservation recipes for "regular" garden vegetables.
As a gatherer of mushrooms and wild edible plants since I was a boy, I preserve whatever I can't eat right away -- especially because, as we all know, nature waits for no one.
Some of the recipes I use every year are my Italian marinated mushrooms, pickled mustard greens -- wild or farmed greens work equally well here -- and pickled ramps, which works with any small onion, wild or grown.
Similarly, I pickle wild Sierra Nevada blueberries or huckleberries, and they're amazing, but you can do the same with supermarket blueberries.
Meats and Fish
Most of my preservation recipes for meat are in my collection of salami recipes, or jerky recipes, but you'll find some excellent recipes for fish and seafood here. Other than the herring and pike recipes above, I have a smoked, dried shrimp recipe and a classic Lowcountry pickled shrimp recipe.
I am lucky enough to have feral little tomatillos grow in my garden, and so each year I make a big batch of Mexican tomatillo salsa verde. I eat some fresh, but the rest I can for the winter. This is a canning-safe recipe.
When I was growing up, I thought “antipasti” meant pickled cauliflower, carrots and onions because that’s what was served in the old-style Italian joints I ate in. Well, I managed to recreate the recipe for their pickled cauliflower here.
Pickling ramp bulbs — or the bulbs of any large wild onion — is a great way to preserve the harvest. These are fantastic served with cured meats and cheeses, or chopped into a relish or just eaten as a snack.
I grew an awful lot of fennel over the winter. So much that I needed to find a use for it. I found one. Fennel sauerkraut. It may be my new favorite kraut.
This is how I preserve the season’s pepper harvest. It’s a great way to have roasted peppers at your fingertips the whole year through.
A few years ago I traveled to Louisiana and learned from the McIlhenny family themselves how to make Tabasco Sauce. Now, two years later, I can finally tell you how to make it. It’s easy, but like fine wine, it takes time.
If you’re not from the Northwoods, you may have never heard of pickled pike. Well, this is to the boreal forest what ceviche is to the tropics: A great way to snack on fish with saltines…