A confit, traditionally, is a way to preserve duck or goose. The same method is used here to preserve the mushrooms. They will keep covered in oil for 2 weeks. I often double the amount of mushrooms just to have some left over. You can reserve the leftover flavoured oil in your fridge and use it to flavour salad dressing, sautés or stir-fries. Morels foraged from the woods can be substituted for the cremini mushrooms if you can find them.
- 1 head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
- 1½ lbs (750 g) mushrooms, cremini and oyster
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 4 cloves
- 4 small dried red chilies
- Olive oil to cover mushrooms, about 2 cups (500 mL)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 cups baby lettuce and mixed seedlings
- 2 tbspchopped chives
- 8 slices baguette, ¼ inch each, toasted
- Place garlic in a small pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Drain garlic. Peel. Reserve cloves.
Cut cremini mushroom stems flush with the heads. Place mushrooms in a bowl and add bay leaves, thyme sprigs, salt, cloves and chilies and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to draw a bit of the liquid from mushrooms.
Preheat oven to 250°F.
Place mushrooms, spices and blanched garlic in an ovenproof casserole that just fits them in 1 layer (or divide between 2 baking dishes) and pour in enough oil to cover mushrooms. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and juicy. Carefully strain mushrooms and reserve mushrooms, garlic and oil separately.
Stir together lemon juice, maple syrup and mustard and whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss dressing with greens, reserving 2 tbsp.
Mash garlic cloves from confit into a paste and spread on toasts. Toss mushrooms with remaining dressing.
Top salad with about 2 cups drained mushroom confit. Divide salad between 4 serving plates and sprinkle with chives. Serve toasts on the side.