Article & Photo By: Colleen Johnson
This spring the rain yielded a pretty sweet score – a huge patch of morel mushrooms just a few feet from my door. I could hardly believe my good fortune, as I found dozens of these tasty and normally quite expensive mushrooms right in my own yard. After some careful identification to be sure they weren’t false morels, I picked these delicious fungi and set about preserving the vast majority of my bounty for later.
To dry morels in a dehydrator, begin by cleaning the mushrooms thoroughly. Morels are often filled with dirt in their many cracks and crevices. I accomplished this by first soaking them in water, then draining and rinsing them in running water. Finally, I gave them a spin in the salad spinner before cutting them in half and loading them onto the dehydrator’s trays. The smaller mushrooms dried rather quickly while the bigger ones took the better part of day to dry fully. I would advise you to check them from time to time to keep them from scorching if your dehydrator doesn’t have a timer on it. Store the mushrooms in an airtight jar until read to use.
A word of caution: please don’t eat any wild mushrooms unless you are absolutely certain it is safe. The ‘when in doubt, throw it out’ rule applies here.
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