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recipe of the month

Black Trumpets (Craterellus cornucopioides) on Crostini
with Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Peppers

February is a great time to gather up a basket of winter edibles. There is nothing quite so lovely as a colorful combination of black chanterelles, hedgehogs and yellow foot chanterelles, in rivulets of black and gold; it’s even better once you get it back to the kitchen! But not every year is a bonanza year. Here is a quick and easy recipe for a crowd-pleasing appetizer that doesn’t call for a lot of mushrooms. Black trumpets (Craterellus cornucopioides) are more of a color accent, and I once literally fed a crowd on my entire haul of just three mushrooms. Like golden chanterelles, blacks peel readily, like string cheese, and with their dark color and strong flavor, a little goes a long way. If you have plenty, a small perfect trumpet on each crostini is a nice touch. But the flavors are fabulous regardless of the amounts of mushrooms that you use.


© photo by David Rust

Adjust the amounts depending on the size of the crowd that you are feeding.


  • black trumpet mushrooms, stripped, washed and drained (dried and rehydrated are fine)
  • shallots
  • one red pepper
  • butter for sautéing
  • crostini
  • herbed goat cheese, or any mild, spreadable cheese (Boursin works well)


Roast the red pepper (I slice them into thirds, press them down on a broiler pan, then broil them until the skins are charred black), place charred, hot peppers in a bag (paper or plastic), and let them steam. When cool, peel off skin and slice into thin matchsticks. Set aside.

Peel and slice shallots thinly, then cook in a hot pan with stripped black chanterelles and butter; cook until mushrooms are done, and shallots are carmelized. Set aside.

Make or purchase good quality crostini.

Just before serving, spread the crostini with a layer of cheese. Accent with chanterelles and shallots, then lay a strip or two of red pepper across the top.* Serve immediately.
Eat avidly, accept compliments on your fine cooking abilities. Smile knowingly. Repeat.

Bon apetit.

© Debbie Viess

*I find chopsticks to be a useful tool in the placement of the mushrooms and peppers; fingers alone can be cumbersome.

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