They add a rich, meaty flavour and texture to veggie dishes and do a great burger impression.
But do you too often buy a big punnet only to end up binning half when they get a bit dried out or slimy?
According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), in the UK we throw away £618million worth of mushrooms every year from our homes.
To keep them fresh, keep loose mushrooms in paper bags and chill in the fridge. Large punnets will last longer if covered with a tea towel and kept in the bottom of the fridge. Fold it into layers and tuck quite tightly inside the punnet, like a snug blanket.
If they do start to age a bit, slice those wrinkly ’shrooms, toss in melted butter and freeze. Perfect for topping pizzas and throwing in risotto, pasta sauces and casseroles.
Here are some other fab ways to keep them from the bin...
Make mini pizzas
Yes, we all know mushrooms make a fab pizza topping. But we’re talking about the base here. Top large flat mushrooms with chopped tomatoes, ham, olives, mozzarella - whatever needs eating up. A spoonful of leftover marinara sauce would be just perfect.
Surprise dinner party guests with a savoury cheesecake packed with earthy mushroom flavours. This recipe includes crab, but just experiment with what’s in your fridge.
Chop up the rest of that punnet and mix with chickpeas for this veggie, low- carb alternative to spaghetti and meatballs. Of course, you can serve the polpette with normal pasta, too.
These falafel-style balls pack in chopped mushrooms and lots of other lovely veg, making them great for using stuff up. You could shape this recipe into burgers or sausages, too.
Build a burger
Portobello mushrooms are often used as a veggie burger alternative. Now here’s an idea - how about the mushroom as the bun? Perfect for anyone trying to cut down on carbs and much juicier than bread.
Preserve them in oil
Garlic and rosemary infuse mushrooms with fragrant flavours and these will keep for up to three months in a sealed jar. Toss in salads, add to soups and sauces, or stir into your favourite risotto recipe.
Chopped up mushrooms zinged up with a squeeze of lime, soy sauce and paprika or chilli are fab for filling tacos or these flavoursome fajitas.
Dry them out
If you’ve bought a forest floor’s worth of mushrooms and can’t possibly manage to munch through them all, try dehydrating them. You can do this without a fancy machine and they should keep in an airtight container for months. Mushroom Appreciation has a handy guide here.
A twist on spag bol
Porcini mushrooms give this veggie take on bolognese a beautifully savoury ‘umami’ flavour. Great if you have a whole punnet of chestnut or button mushrooms that needs eating, too.
It’s all gravy
Chop slightly past-their-best mushrooms into a rich gravy to drizzle on your Sunday roast or anything else in need of a little sauce. This gravy recipe is vegan, too.
Not a single sausage goes into these tasty rolls. This recipe uses a combo of chestnut, shiitake and baby button mushrooms, but just chop up whatever you have in the fridge.
Chop and freeze
You don’t have to cook mushrooms before freezing them. Simply wash, dry and slice or chop, and freeze in sealable bags. They can be thrown straight into stir-fries and sauces when needed.
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