For years I was a little intimidated by dried mushrooms. It’s not something this American grew up using. I’d pick up a package in the grocery store and put it back not knowing for sure how to use them, thinking it was FAR more complicated then it is.
It wasn’t until I was flipping through an Italian cooking magazine and hearing by husband Paolo say “Stop… can we have that!” that I decided to give them a try. Paolo then shared with me stories of how Mamma and Nonna loved using dried mushrooms. How can a wife turn down a Husband when he puts his request that way!
I read through the Mushroom lasagna recipe, stumbling, it was after-all in Italian. Yet the steps seemed… surprisingly simple. All the sudden, I felt a little silly. If I can figure out a recipe with instructions in a second language I’m strugglingly to learn at 40, then dried mushrooms can’t be that complicated now can they!
Since that initial go, which turned out amazing by the way, I’ve been a dried mushroom convert. Now a days, my pantry is bare if it’s sans fungi. I love them. They are easy, packed with rich, grounded flavors and make an inexpensive pantry dinner, company worthy.
Plus, not many other ingredients give you a two in one. When you rehydrate dried mushrooms, not only do you get a great fungi to work with, you also get the added benefit of a mushroom “broth.”
How to Use Dried Mushrooms
Add your amazing new find, the humble dried mushroom, to a bowl. Top with boiling water.
Cover with plastic wrap to create a steam bath of youthful hydration… watch those wrinkles disappear over 20 to 30 minutes. Why, oh why doesn’t this work on MY skin?
What you’re left with is a two for one. Hydrated mushrooms and a rich broth. That’s it, you’re ready to cook.
The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Buon Appetito