Pickling is much easier than you think – and these mushrooms are some of the easiest of the lot. The recipe comes from pickling and fermenting expert and Young British Foodies winner Freddie Janssen.
"I made these with my friend James 'Beans' Lowe, who is a coffee genius," she says "As the head chef at Lyle's, he's managed to take restaurant coffee in the UK to the next level with a specialty coffee service, sourcing hard-to-find, interesting coffee from companies such as Koppi, Belleville and JB Kaffee."
Serve these pickles as part of a charcuterie plate – ideal in the festive season – slice them up and add to a pizza or sandwich, or fry them in a bit of olive oil and eat with scrambled eggs. The recipe makes 1x300 ml (10 fl oz) jar.
- 100g dried shiitake mushrooms
- 125ml white wine vinegar
- 1½ tbsps granulated (raw) sugar
- 1 tbsp freshly ground coffee beans
- Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 500ml of boiling water. Put a plate on top of the mushrooms to push them down into the water, making sure they are submerged. Soak for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mushrooms through a fine mesh colander, reserving 125ml of the soaking liquid.
- In a pan, combine the mushroom liquid with the vinegar and sugar and bring to 92°C, not boiling, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the temperature reads 90°C. You don't want the mixture to get any hotter, otherwise you will burn the coffee.
- Put the mushrooms into a clean jar or plastic container. Add the ground coffee beans to a lined filter (I use a ceramic V60 coffee dripper) and place it over the jar or container with the mushrooms.
- Slowly pour a small amount (around 50 ml) of the pickling liquid over the coffee grounds and leave for 30 seconds.
- Now add the remaining liquid to the filter until it fills the jar or container.
- Let it come to room temperature before putting on the lid and refrigerating. The pickles will be ready to eat in 1 day and keep for up to 2 weeks when refrigerated.
Pickled by Freddie Janssen (Hardie Grant, £15) Photography by Helen Cathcart