Photo: Thomas J. Story
Chef Renee Erickson, owner of several Seattle restaurants and of Boat Street Pickle company, gave us the recipe for these bracing pickles. She likes to eat them right from the jar, tossed with a little olive oil, or serve them with roasted chicken. She also recommends using them in a bloody Mary skewer.
Makes 1 qt. (serving size: 1/4 cup pickle)
1. Wash a wide-mouth 1-qt. canning jar and lid in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Set a round metal rack or a few biscuit cutters in a stockpot, fill with water, and bring to a boil. Lower jar into water, add lid with ring, and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and keep jar and lid in water until needed.
2. Immerse mushrooms in a large bowl of water and swish around quickly to remove any dirt. Lift out to a colander to drain, then cut mushrooms in half.
3. Put mushrooms, vinegar, 2/3 cup water, garlic, 2 sprigs thyme, chiles, and salt in a 4- to 5-qt. nonreactive pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, covered, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the mushrooms have shrunk considerably and are glossy and more tan in hue, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Put remaining 2 sprigs fresh thyme into jar. Set a wide-mouth funnel in jar and spoon in mushrooms, chiles, and garlic (discard cooked thyme). Pour brine over mushrooms, leaving about 1 in. airspace at top of jar. You can also make a more unctuous pickle with oil instead of vinegar: After you cook them, take them off the heat and let sit in the pot for 15 minutes. Put them in the jar with a slotted spoon and cover completely with extra-virgin olive oil.
4. Close the lid just until tight. Let the pickles cool to room temperature, and then chill at least overnight before eating and preferably 1 week.
Make ahead: Up to 6 months, chilled.