At this point, anyone who’s not a mushroom forager in Ithaca must by dying for some sun. It’s been raining almost around the clock – a steady pitter-patter on the tin roof of our home, soaking the earth and flooding the streets. In fact, when I woke up this morning all roads in Tompkins County were closed due to flooding, by order of the sheriff! Despite the pouring rain, Ari still ventured out yesterday on an early evening two-hour hour mushroom foray. He returned home soaked to the bone, but with a huge smile and a grocery bag filled with black trumpets to add to the four-pounds of black trumpets foraged earlier this week. Mushroom foraging is at its peak – it really doesn’t get any better than this!
Our beautiful bounty of black trumpets just keeps on giving, making appearances in almost every meal. Needless to say, black trumpets are one of my favorite wild mushrooms. Their delicate appearance and delectable woodsy flavor makes me eagerly exclaim “I love black trumpets!” just about every time I eat them, as if I hadn’t had them every day for the past two weeks.
This past week, I made a pizza I will never forget. Black trumpets atop a caramelized onion base with my first batch of homemade ricotta cheese, topped with toasted sage leaves – wow! Every bite was blissful. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!
Preparing the pizza dough:
- Make or buy your favorite pizza dough!
- To make two individual pies, divide the dough in two and form each piece into a smooth ball. Let rest. Then flatten (and toss if you have skills!) each ball into round disks.
Preparing the pizza toppings:
1.) CARAMELIZED ONIONS
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, sliced
- ½ Tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- Freshly cracked pepper and salt to taste
- Heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions, cracked pepper, salt and brown sugar. Cook for about 20, stirring often. Add ¼ cup white wine. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the fresh rosemary or thyme. Cook until the onions reach a browned, creamy texture.
2.) BLACK TRUMPETS
- About 3 oz black trumpets
- Cracked pepper and salt to taste
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- In a small cast iron pan, melt the butter at a medium heat. Add the black trumpets, salt and pepper and sauté until any liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove the black trumpets and set aside.
3.) TOASTED SAGE LEAVES (Courtesy my mother! These have always been one of my favorite creations of hers. If you’ve never eaten toasted sage leaves, you’re in for a treat!)
- 16 sage leaves
- 1 Tablepoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- In a small cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
- Once the olive oil is hot, add the sage leaves. Lie flat and separate each one about a ½ inch apart. Sprinkle with salt. Cook sage leaves for about two to three minutes on each side. Then, set aside leaves separately on a plate to dry and crisp!
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, this is the time to use it. Place it in the oven on the lowest rack.
Brush pizza dough with olive oil. Top with caramelized onions, approx. 8 oz of ricotta cheese (homemade if you got it!) and freshly grated Parmesan to taste. Lay the black trumpets on top. Note: that the toasted sage leaves will be added as a garnish when the pizza is ready to serve and out of the oven!
When your pizza is ready for the oven, slide the pie onto the stone and bake until the crust is slightly browned and the toppings begin to bubble, about 10 minutes. Place toasted sage leaves on the cooked pie. Serve and enjoy. Mangia!