Know your mushrooms

know your mushrooms

Mushrooms should be stored in the refrigerator either loosely in a bag or wrapped in a damp cloth to prevent loss of moisture. Use within a week.

Brown mushrooms are also known as Italian brown mushrooms or crimini and have more flavour than the white variety. They should be firm, plump and clean. Avoid those which have bruises or are soft, wet and slimy.

MAKE THIS: Garlicky wild mushrooms on rye toast

It is also one of the most commonly and widely used varieties of mushrooms in the world.

Dried porcini mushrooms are actually enhanced when dried out. To rehydrate, place in hot water or broth for about 10 – 20 minutes before cooking. Strain and reserve the liquid. The liquid can be used together with the mushrooms or in sauces and soups. Most commonly used in risottos, they can be sautéed with onions and butter or used with red wine and cream for game meat and pastas.

WINNING RECIPE: Butternut pansotti with buttery wild mushrooms, rosemary and pecan nuts

Shimeji mushrooms, regarded as the most ‘gourmet’ of all the oyster-type mushrooms, are long, thin and delicate. Originally grown in clumps on wood in Japan, today they are packaged in clusters with spaghetti-like stems and little white caps. With a crunchy texture and a mild, sweet and nutty flavour, they are delicious raw in salads or as a garnish. If used in cooking, they should be added at the end of the cooking process.

TRY THIS RECIPE: Soothing Asian broth with shimeji mushrooms and noodles

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