When to Buy/In Season:
Season: all year
How to Select:
Look for: firm, plump, cream-colored mushrooms with short, clean-cut stems and caps that are either closed around the stems or slightly open, and with pink or light-tan gills.
Mushrooms grown organically are required to be grown on organic substrates, that is on manures and materials that have not been chemically treated. If compost is used, it can only be sterilized by heat, not chemicals. These mushrooms grow on wood, shredded paper, sawdust, or composted straw and manure, depending upon the type of mushroom.
To prevent other molds or fungi from growing, conventional growers generally sterilize the compost chemically; however the chemicals must be dissipated before mushrooms are able to grow. Thus conventionally grown mushrooms should generally be fairly free of residual chemicals.
EWG 2009 Dirty Dozen, mushrooms rank #26 for highest levels of pesticide residues
How to Store:
Store: refrigerate, covered, use within 1 – 2 days
To Freeze from fresh:
Preparation: Choose mushrooms free from spots and decay. Sort according to size. Wash thoroughly in cold water. Trim off ends of stems. If mushrooms are larger than 1 inch across, slice them or cut them into quarters.
Blanch: Mushrooms can be steamed or heated in fat in a fry pan. Steamed mushrooms will keep longer than those heated in fat.
To Steam: Mushrooms to be steamed have better color if given anti-darkening treatment first. To do this, dip for 5 minutes in a solution containing 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 1/2 teaspoons citric acid to a pint of water. Then steam whole mushrooms 5 minutes, buttons or quarters 3 1/2 minutes and slices 3 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.
To Fry for Freezing: Heat small quantities of mushrooms in margarine or butter in an open fry pan until almost done. Cool in air or set pan in which mushrooms were cooked in cold water. Pack into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.
Store: frozen mushrooms can be frozen for 6 months
Store: canned mushrooms can be stored at room temperature up to 12 months
Photo Source: S@Z