Morel mushrooms are a great addition to any kitchen. They’re one of the most sought-after varieties of above-ground wild fungi, but they’re tough to cultivate. When you purchase dried morel mushrooms, you should know how to properly store them so you can conserve them for as long as possible. Read on to learn the best way to preserve morel mushrooms and discover their many uses in the kitchen.
1. Buy dry morel mushrooms for the most extended shelf life.
Dried morel mushrooms will last the longest in your kitchen. By buying the mushrooms dried out, you’re extending their shelf-life. You can also dry out more mushrooms yourself by hanging them in an airy, dark space to dry for about four weeks. When buying morel mushrooms that have been dried, look for whole or sliced specimens that resemble their original form, not bits and pieces that have been crushed or otherwise tainted.
When ready to use the dried morel mushrooms, immerse them in water and allow them to steep for 30 minutes. If you’re using reconstituted mushrooms in a recipe that calls for fresh, use this ratio: a pound of fresh mushrooms is equivalent to two ounces of reconstituted dry mushrooms.
2. Other ways to preserve morel mushrooms
Drying morels isn’t the only way to preserve them. They can also be frozen and stored for later use. To freeze morel mushrooms, you can use one of two methods. Place the mushrooms in a container, cover them with water, and freeze. Or, you can wash the mushrooms and freeze them as-is in an airtight bag or container.
3. Uses for morel mushrooms in the kitchen
First and foremost, morel mushrooms should never be eaten raw. They should always be cooked and are ideal for use in soups, stews, and gravies. They also add umami to dishes like ravioli, manicotti, and risotto. Aside from cooking them, you can pulse dry morel mushrooms in the food processor for use on steak, chicken, or pork.
Generally, morel mushrooms are similar to truffle mushrooms in that they are somewhat nutty and smokey in flavor. Keep that in mind when you’re experimenting with your dishes! Below are some more tips for preparing morel mushrooms:
- Combine morel mushrooms with fresh herbs to brighten the dish. Herbs like thyme, basil, garlic, and shallots pair perfectly with many mushrooms, including morel.
- Slice dry morel mushrooms lengthwise. Cutting them this way will help them cook more evenly and ensure any residual dirt has been removed from the fungi.
- Hold on to the water you use to rehydrate the morel mushrooms. Once your mushrooms have reconstituted, store that delicious broth for future use. You can use this flavorful water as a base for vegetable soup or any other recipe that calls for a flavorful liquid.
4. Cook with morel mushrooms for these health benefits
Consider these health benefits if you’re still looking for reasons to incorporate more mushrooms into your cooking. They’re high in Vitamin D, which is a bone-strengthening vitamin. Additionally, morel mushrooms have anti-aging properties and are rich in several other vitamins and minerals, including copper, magnesium, and potassium.
Now that you know a little more about mushrooms and how to preserve them, we hope this guide inspires you to use them in your kitchen!