When you see a batch of delicious gourmet mushrooms at your local farmers market or co-op they can be hard to resist! So hard to resist, in fact, that you might end up with several pounds of mushrooms without having a recipe in mind.
You already know gourmet mushrooms are adaptable and diverse in flavor and texture, but did you know you can preserve mushrooms to maintain their flavor and keep them ready to eat for months?
We don’t believe there’s ever such a thing as too many mushrooms, but if you went overboard at the farmers market, you may need a way to preserve a lot of mushrooms at once. Here are three ways to preserve your gourmet mushrooms from R&R Cultivation.
If you have a machine dedicated to dehydrating produce, drying your mushrooms will be a breeze. Remember that the first step for all of these processes is to thoroughly clean the mushrooms so they’re at their best when you do preserve them. On that note, don’t wait until the mushrooms have started to change in appearance, taste, or smell – preserve them while they’re very fresh.
Set your dehydrator to about 100 degrees and check the mushrooms periodically. When they are thoroughly dried, put the mushrooms in an airtight container and label them with the date. You can rehydrate the mushrooms by soaking them in water for about 15 minutes. Save the water to add flavor to soups and vegetable broths.
You can also keep the mushrooms dry and create powders to season your pasta sauces, stews, burgers, and anything else that could use a little umami flavor. Shiitake mushrooms are a great option if you want to create mushroom powder for seasoning.
Freezing mushrooms is easy, but they need to be cooked before they are frozen for best results. They can either be sautéed or steamed according to your preferences. We prefer sautéing them in butter because it imparts the mushrooms with a rich and delicious flavor.
After the mushrooms have been cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated, they can be frozen on a cookie sheet. Spread the mushrooms out so they don’t touch and put the whole sheet in your freezer. Once the mushrooms are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container of your choosing. Flash freezing them on the cookie sheets prevents the mushrooms from sticking together and is the best way to keep them tasting great. Your frozen mushrooms can go into any dishes that will be heated, or thaw them in the refrigerator before using them.
Pickling Your Mushrooms
Pickled mushrooms are great on charcuterie boards, as a steak topper, and have many other culinary applications. We’d recommend mushrooms with a substantial “meaty” cap, like chestnuts or pioppinos.
Follow your favorite pickling recipe, or use the basic ratio of one cup water, one cup vinegar, and one tablespoon kosher salt. Bring this mixture to a boil, then pour over your mushrooms. Once you’ve got your mushrooms and pickling mixture in a jar, you can add whatever flavors you desire: bay leaves, peppercorns, other herbs and spices, and cloves of garlic are all great options. Close your jar tightly and leave it in the fridge for a week or so before you begin using your pickled mushrooms.
Where to Find Our Gourmet Mushrooms
If you want to give one of these preservation methods a try, R&R Cultivation has many varieties of gourmet mushrooms to choose from! We sell our mushrooms at Twin Cities Lunds and Byerly’s stores, metro co-ops, and farmers markets year-round. Here’s everywhere you can find our mushrooms.
To check out all the varieties of organic, gourmet mushrooms we offer, visit our website.