Binomial Name: Craterellus cornucopioides
Called horn of plenty, are one of the most highly prized and commonly found wild mushrooms on the West Coast. As the name suggests, they are black (or sometimes varying shades of gray, brown or even blond) and have a hollow, horn-like shape. Their strong, pungent aroma immediately conjures visions of the damp forest floor from which they are harvested in the mid-late winter months. Their strong but buttery flavor makes black trumpets a natural partner for almost any protein-fish, chicken, beef and eggs all harmonize wonderfully with this beautiful mushroom. Their hollow shape, dark color and earthy flavor make them a suitable substitute for morel mushrooms.
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Try sautéing them with olive oil, garlic and shallots as an accompaniment to steak, or take it one step further and after sautéing, bake them topped with some freshly grated Parmigiano and toasted breadcrumbs. Black trumpets will typically store well for 7-12 days under refrigeration.
The best way to clean black trumpets is to wash them immediately before cooking. Place them in a sink or tub full of very cold water and agitate the mushrooms slightly then let them sit for 30 seconds. Repeat this several times-the grit trapped inside of them will fall to the bottom. After a couple of rinses yield clean water free of grit or dirt, spin the mushrooms in a salad spinner and lay out on paper or cloth towels to dry for 15-30 minutes.