Did you have a picnic and came home with a basket full of fresh mushrooms? Have you been cooking mushrooms for two days and you no longer know which recipes to try? You just have to keep them, so as to always have them within reach of a ladle, even for the whole year: here are 4 ways to do it, with a few tricks to avoid making mistakes.
Prataioli, porcini, champignon, and Chiodini: between the end of summer and autumn comes the mushroom season. In nature, there are infinite varieties, each with unmistakable organoleptic characteristics, aromas, and flavors: but how to make them last longer than this very short period? Today we advise you which are the best ways to preserve mushrooms so that you can always have them within reach of your recipe.
1. In the refrigerator
Intuitive and perhaps a little obvious but certainly functional: keeping fresh mushrooms in the refrigerator is a simple and effective way to have them available and safeguard their texture and flavor. How and for how long?
Fresh mushrooms should be kept whole and unwashed in a paper bag for food (the one for bread, so to speak, will be fine), in the lower part of the refrigerator. In this way, you can keep them for up to 7 days even if the advice is to consume the mushrooms as soon as possible, for hygienic reasons and to better enjoy their texture and flavor.
If you intend to keep your fresh mushrooms for a longer period, the advice is to freeze them. In this case, you will have to proceed step by step: clean the mushrooms with a clean cloth removing any residue of earth, cut them into slices, and blanch them for 2-3 minutes, then drain and let them cool. Once cold, arrange the mushrooms on a well-spaced plate and place them in the freezer: as soon as they are frozen, place them in food bags and put them back in the freezer. Warning: frozen mushrooms must not be defrosted before being used in the kitchen, don’t be shy and take it on a one-way trip from the freezer to the pan.
Are you wondering if it is possible to freeze whole and raw mushrooms? The answer is yes, even if we advise against doing so: once defrosted, in fact, whole mushrooms tend to lose a lot of water, thus risking ruining your dishes.
If you don’t have enough space in the freezer or want to try another technique to keep your fresh mushrooms for a long time, you can dry them. Clean them with a cloth to remove any residual earth, cut them into thin slices, and place them on a grid, well-spaced. Leave the mushrooms to dry in a warm, dry place – preferably sunny – for two and three days, turning them from time to time to prevent moisture from stagnating.
Alternatively, you can use the oven: preheat it to 60 ° C, leaving the door slightly open to let the steam out, then cook the mushrooms (cleaned and sliced, placed on a grill) for two hours, turning them halfway through cooking. Once dried, you can keep the mushrooms in an airtight glass container for 3-4 months, always ready for use in the kitchen.
4. In oil
Halfway between a cooking technique and a preservation method: mushrooms in oil are very simple to prepare and allow us to have a delicious side dish always at hand. Clean the mushrooms well with a damp cloth or bypassing them under running water, remove any soil residue then cut the stems and dry them well. Cook the mushrooms in a solution of water, vinegar and salttip, drain, season and arrange them in sterilized jars, completely covered with extra virgin olive oil.