Mushroom Meze Platter

Ingredients:
For the mushroom tapenade:
250g pitted olives, green and black mixed
250g cooked mushrooms (portabellini or button)
2 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp caper berries, chopped
3-5 fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp olive oil

*For the pickled mushrooms:
500g button mushrooms or portabellini
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 small shallot or 2 spring onions, sliced
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
100ml olive oil
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
100ml white balsamic vinegar
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 serrano chilli, sliced
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
Cheese
Olives
Pickled onions
Sundried tomatoes
Seasonal fruit
Crudités
Breadsticks
Baguette
*Make the pickled mushrooms the day before serving your meze platter. The flavours develop better after a few hours in the fridge.

Method:
For the mushroom tapenade:
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined and fine.

For the pickled mushrooms:
Into a medium sized pot add the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, onion/shallot, bay leaves, thyme, lemon zest, chilli, a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bring to the boil.
In the meantime, slice the mushrooms in half.
Once the liquid has come to a boil add the mushrooms, lemon juice and parsley.
Place the lid on the pot, turn the heat off and leave for 10 minutes.
Allow the mushrooms to cool slightly before carefully transferring them into a large glass jar and then place in the fridge.
Assemble your meze platter with your favourite cheeses, pickles and breads. Slather the mushroom tapenade onto crusty baguette and enjoy the pickled mushrooms with a creamy goat’s cheese or just as is!

Gin Pairing:
50ml Six Dogs Karoo Gin
Lime zest
150ml tonic water
Fill desired glass with ice and add a ribbon of lime zest. Pour in the Six Dogs Gin and top with tonic.

Gin Pairing Note:
Six Dogs Gin and this collection of small bites centered around marinated mushrooms & mushroom tapenade are a perfect accompaniment. The acidic bite from the marinated mushrooms is balanced by the subtle flavors of the Karoo thorn and lavender which emanate from the Six Dogs. This provides a refreshing contrast to the variety of flavors encountered on this meze platter.