With the first rains of fall, California chanterelles signal the beginning of autumn in the Jordan kitchen. This fragrant, golden-orange treasure is unlike any other mushroom. Finished with oil that has been infused with local pine needles, this pickled chanterelle appetizer recipe brings a sense of autumnal time and place to the table, especially when paired with the vibrant Fuji apple notes of Jordan Chardonnay.



Prepare the conifer oil well in advance of preparing this dish. To make the conifer oil, fill a one quart mason jar loosely with the conifer tips, top with grapeseed oil and seal. Allow to steep for five days in a warm kitchen location. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth and store in a cool pantry for up to two months. Any fir, pine or spruce may be used for this application. Each varietal, season and even location will yield a different flavor profile. All are edible but some are more palatable than others.

To make the complete recipe, begin by preparing the pickled chanterelles. Heat a non-reactive sauté pan over medium-high heat. Film the pan with grapeseed oil, then add the shallots and fennel pollen. Stir the shallots for 30 seconds. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, marjoram and tarragon to the pan and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and increase the heat to high while stirring. Sauté the mushrooms until they are fully cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated (6-8 minutes). Deglaze mushrooms with Chardonnay and seasoned rice wine vinegar and reduce for 3 minutes. Add oil and honey, toss to coat and season to taste. Set aside at room temperature.

For the roasted pear, add peeled and diced pear to a small bowl and cover with water and lemon juice until ready to sauté. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and add the olive oil. While olive oil comes to a shimmer, pat pear dry and toss with salt, pepper and thyme. Add diced pear and bay leaf to the hot pan and quickly sauté to color. Deglaze with Poire William (approximately 2 minutes). Spoon pear onto a cool plate and reserve at room temperature.

Toss chanterelle mix with pear, olives, arugula leaves, black walnut pieces and season with sel gris to taste. To plate, spoon the mixture into individual dishes or onto grilled flatbread or walnut crostini drizzled in Jordan Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Finish with a drizzle of conifer oil and arugula blossom if available.