All about horn of plenty > From the market to your plate
Horn of plenty mushrooms are generally harvested in October, with picking continuing until December. The color can vary from black to ash gray, but the blacker the mushroom, the younger and fresher it is. Give preference to the younger ones, since the older ones are drier and less flavorful.
Choose mushrooms with an even color, supple flesh and a pleasant aroma.
These mushrooms are often sold dried.
Fresh horn of plenty mushrooms need to be consumed within 48 hours and stored in a cool, dry place. Refrigeration is not recommended, because the humidity alters the organoleptic qualities of this fragile mushroom.
They are well suited to drying. To dry them, thread them onto a string and hang in a well-ventilated place like a basement, but away from humidity. Let dry several weeks before placing in bags or jars.
To clean horn of plenty mushrooms, simply use a brush because, like all mushrooms, they don't appreciate water.
If you've collected them yourself, remove any leaves, twigs, insects or larvae that often hide in the base of the stem.
To use dried horn of plenty mushrooms, they first have to be rehydrated. Simply immerse them for about 30 minutes in warm water and let them swell. Don't discard the soaking water: use it in a sauce or soup.
Another use: grind the dried mushrooms to a powder and use as a condiment.
Excellent with eggs, fresh cheese or cream, in an omelet, risotto or sauce. Considered the poor man's truffle, these mushrooms need only be sautéed for a few minutes to release all their aroma.
Sauté in a little olive oil or a knob of butter with a minced shallot.
Put two good knobs of salted butter in a hot skillet. Evenly scatter in your horn of plenty mushrooms and a clove of garlic, split in half. After a few seconds, some nice juice will form as the natural water evaporates. Slice a stalk of celery into small lengths and add to the pan. Finish with a grating of Parmesan - very light. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with fleur de sel - and don't forget the juice from the pan!
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