Photograph by Grant Cornett Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Ricotta with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Kohlrabi

Starters from Issue 7 – Summer 2015 – Spectrum

Shadowy horned black trumpet mushrooms announce themselves in appearance and taste (rich, smoky, irresistible) alongside creamy ricotta and crisp batons of kohlrabi in this chiaroscuro creation by chef Joel Hough, our favorite menu item at New York’s Il Buco Alimentari.

serves 4 to 6

Pickled Trumpet Mushrooms
  • 16 to 20 black trumpet mushrooms
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, zested with a vegetable peeler and juiced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 1 kohlrabi bulb
  • cup hazelnuts
  • 1 lb good quality fresh ricotta
  • 12 leaves fresh mint
  • pickled black trumpet mushrooms (from above recipe)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • a few leaves wild arugula or watercress for garnish

  • 1

    Mushrooms: Carefully clean mushrooms by tearing the “trumpet” lengthwise and removing any pine needles. If sandy, gently rinse in cold water and dry between paper towels. Bring a pot of water to boil and season heavily with sea salt. Cook the mushrooms 5 seconds, then drain and lay out on paper towels to dry. Transfer to a bowl or jar.

  • 2

    Stir together the wine, vinegar, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan along with garlic, thyme, bay leaf, peel, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring the brine to a simmer, then let steep 5 minutes. Strain over mushrooms and let sit, uncovered, overnight.

  • 3

    Salad: Peel tough outer skin from kohlrabi and cut into thin matchsticks. Place into a bowl of ice water to crisp.

  • 4

    Preheat oven to 300°F. Toast the hazelnuts until pale golden and skins are loose. Rub off the skins and when cool, crack with the side of a knife.

  • 5

    Spoon about ¼ cup ricotta onto each plate. Tear the mint and toss with mushrooms, kohlrabi, oil, and lemon juice (reserved from pickled mushrooms). Season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Arrange a small amount of the salad on each mound of ricotta. Sprinkle some hazelnuts over each and finish with a few leaves of wild arugula or watercress.