We have a definite fondness for mushrooms around here. They're a great way to add protein to our vegetable-laden lives and boy are they delicious!
You all seem to love them too! This winter, just about half of our CSA members have added on a mushroom share. We're so glad it's a popular item and wanted to put out some tips for storage and cooking so that everyone can enjoy them to their fullest extent!
Currently the three types of mushrooms that we are putting in the share are: grey oyster, yellow oyster, and shiitake.
Grey oyster mushrooms
Yellow oyster mushrooms
The two oyster mushroom varieties have a relatively similar mild flavor and somewhat meaty texture. They absorb any other flavors you add, whether it be soy sauce and ginger or rosemary and ginger. You can use pretty much the whole thing, stem and cap. My favorite way to enjoy them is to give them a good sear in a hot cast iron pan with some butter and garlic. They get wonderfully crispy all over and then can be a topping for a risotto, soup or salad. Or just on their own!
The shiitake mushrooms have a deeper umami, buttery flavor and a slightly more bouncy texture. I tend to cut the cap off (the stem tends to be fibrous and tough) and slice it into thin strips. That way they can achieve more caramelization and flavor absorption. You can roast these in the oven or sear them in a pan with whatever flavor combination you desire.
The best way to store these beauties is in the paper bag they come in! Mushrooms can release water as they sit and in a sealed plastic bag or container, the condensation can turn them a little slimy. However just leaving them out in the open in your fridge, or just in the box we provide, can lead to them drying out. Therefore, keeping them in the paper bag keeps in just the right amount of moisture and they should stay good for at least a week! Even if they do start looking a little sad, roasting them in the oven or adding them to a soup will still result in a delightful meal.
Here are a few fantastic recipes for oyster mushrooms in which you could easily use the grey or yellow varieties. You could also easily use regular dairy cheese if you're not eating vegan for several of these recipes.
And a few recipes for shiitakes! I know often there aren't a ton of these types in your shares, but these recipes would be just as good with a combination of shiitake and oyster mushrooms.