Traditional recipes

Porcini Salad with Watercress and Black Truffle Vinaigrette

Porcini Salad with Watercress and Black Truffle Vinaigrette

Porcini Salad with Watercress and Black Truffle Vinaigrette

The rich earthiness of porcini mushrooms is highlighted by grilling them to perfection and drizzling them with a subtle black truffle vinaigrette. This is a fantastic appetizer for mushroom lovers that's a real treat for the senses.

See all salad recipes.

Ingredients

  • 4 large fresh porcini mushrooms
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh black truffle or black truffle paste
  • 2 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bulb fennel, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
  • 2 bunches watercress (about 3 loose cups)
  • Freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano (optional)

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Porcini and Black Olive Canapés

In a small bowl, soak the porcini in hot water until softened, about 30 minutes. Scoop out the mushrooms.

In a medium skillet, melt the 1 tablespoon of butter until foamy. Add the porcini and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

In a food processor, pulse the olives and porcini until finely chopped. With the machine on, add the olive oil and truffle oil and process to a paste. Transfer the tapenade to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly brush a baking sheet with a little of the melted butter. Brush the bread slices on 1 side with the remaining butter. Using a 1 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, stamp out 4 rounds from each slice of bread. Arrange the rounds, buttered side up, on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the Fontina. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the rounds are golden on the bottom and the cheese is bubbling.

Arrange the canapés on a platter and top each with 1 teaspoon of the tapenade. Garnish with the chives and serve.


Double-Breasting Poultry

The premise here is more of a poultry butchering technique. The chicken breasts we used came connected with the thin tissue that runs along the sternum intact, making it a very large “chicken sheet” that was slightly impressive in a sort of grotesque American way, since it was literally two entire chicken breasts, on a plate.

The technique of “double-breasting” as I’ve come to call it is a really cool one, and great for practicing your finesse with a boning or utility knife.

The rest of the dish here is self-explanatory: some nice fresh greens and herbs, a hot fire, and, a little venison bacon, if you have some around.


Extra virgin olive oil, truffle, artificial and natural truffle flavor.

D’Allesandro Gold Black Truffle Oil is made with robust black truffle aroma and premium extra virgin olive oil, offering an elegant, rich, multi-layered truffle essence. Imported from a small, family run business in southern France, our Black Truffle Oil meets strict standards and requirements for truffle product labeling, ensuring each bottle is infused with authentic truffle flavor.

The most sought after and expensive of truffles are the white and black variety, growing at the feet of trees in Italy and France. Due to their high price and pungent taste, truffles are used sparingly and often incorporated into salts, honeys or oils in order to make the most of the valuable ingredient.


Summer black truffle taste profile and pairing suggestions

Summer black truffles are at the height of the season! This article addresses how to enjoy summer truffles to the fullest.

The most important thing to remember when using black summer truffles in recipes is that these truffles are NOT the same as winter black truffles or winter white truffles. Summer truffles have a much milder aroma and are more mushroomy in taste than their sought after cousins. It will rarely work well to substitute summer truffles for winter black truffles, particularly if the preparation requires cooking.

Winter black truffles are best when cooked. The cooking process releases the wonderfully intense truffle flavor and aroma. Summer truffles are so delicate in flavor that they will lose much of their taste if cooked therefore the most important rule with summer truffles is to serve them raw or only slightly warmed.

On the exterior, summer truffles look very similar to winter black truffles as both varieties have a dark, almost black exterior skin. The inside of summer truffles is beige, where winter truffles are dark charcoal to black inside (when ripe).

Summer truffles have a delicate nutty flavor and a slightly crisp texture. Because the flavor of summer truffles is fairly mild, pairing them with other foods is easy. Summer truffles offer an economical way to boost almost any seasonal menu.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate summer truffles into existing recipes is to simply add them to your favorite salad. Summer truffles pair well with all summer vegetables: baby greens of any type, asparagus, green beans, fava beans, corn artichoke, fennel, onions, leeks and more. For salad preparations, about one ounce of summer truffle per person is a good rule of thumb. To intensify the truffle flavor, use a black truffle oil vinaigrette. If you wish to have a one-dish-meal, top the truffle laced salad with a piece of grilled halibut, sole, salmon, or other fresh fish.

Summer black truffles can be added raw, at the last minute to soups, potato dishes, risotto, eggs, and pasta dishes. Simply shave a generous portion of summer truffle on top of the dish or incorporate the truffles into the dish just before serving. Just remember not to expect the same intense flavor as you would enjoy with winter black truffles or white truffles.

In terms of pairing summer truffles with meats and fish, there are endless choices. Generally lighter meats and almost any fish or shellfish work well with summer truffles. Choose meats such as veal, pork, or poultry, beef carpaccio, or use cured meats as an accent to a vegetable, potato, or pasta dish. Recommended seafood selections include scallops, lobster, langoustines, or almost any type of fish such as halibut, cod, sole, snapper, skate wings, monkfish, or even salmon.

Pairing wine with truffles is simply a matter of personal taste. Certainly any wine originated from a truffle producing area would be a good choice.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of summer truffles is the affordable price. At a fraction of the cost of winter black truffles or white truffles, one can be generous with summer truffles, adding them to a wide variety of seasonal recipes with pleasing results.


Pear, Camembert and Watercress Salad

If you are looking for a different and delectable salad to serve with roasts and grills, you don&rsquot have to look very far. This salad of Pear, Camembert and Watercress came about as I foraged the fridge for something to have for lunch. It is not a conventional combination, as pear usually go very well with blue veined cheeses, however, this was a pretty classy meal anyhow.

Pears are caramelized on low heat, served on fresh watercress with creamy chunks of Camembert cheese, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. The sweetness of the pears came out while it was slowly caramelizing in melted butter &ndash and the Camembert gave the dish the creamy cheesy characteristic that matched unbelievably well with the sweet fruits. The meal was balanced off by serving it on crisp zesty watercress finished off with a balsamic reduction.

Not only is Pears widely available here in South Africa at the moment, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. The goodness is in the skin of the pear, so remember to not peel this delicious juicy fruit when enjoying it fresh. Hope you give this recipe a try, it sure is a delightful salad!


Extra virgin olive oil, truffle, artificial and natural truffle flavor.

D’Allesandro Gold Black Truffle Oil is made with robust black truffle aroma and premium extra virgin olive oil, offering an elegant, rich, multi-layered truffle essence. Imported from a small, family run business in southern France, our Black Truffle Oil meets strict standards and requirements for truffle product labeling, ensuring each bottle is infused with authentic truffle flavor.

The most sought after and expensive of truffles are the white and black variety, growing at the feet of trees in Italy and France. Due to their high price and pungent taste, truffles are used sparingly and often incorporated into salts, honeys or oils in order to make the most of the valuable ingredient.


Tom's Dungeness Crab & Black Trumpet Salad

Tom Worthington of San Francisco's Monterey Fish Market finds the combination of local wild Dungeness Crab and wild black trumpet mushrooms a natural. This brightly and deeply flavored salad focuses these seasonal ingredients in a way that works year-round.

  • ½ ounce Wine Forest Dried Black Trumpet Mushrooms or 1 cup of fresh black trumpets
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced Kosher salt to taste 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 ounces mixed salad greens
  • 2 ounces watercress, trimmed
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ¾ pound Dungeness Crab meat
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. Rehydrate dried black trumpets, and clean both dried and fresh black trumpets, gently tearing them into strips.
  2. Add 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil to a skillet over a medium-low to low flame, add the mushrooms (rehydrated or fresh), lemon zest, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté mushrooms until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the dressing, combine the shallot and vinegar in a small bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 4 Tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  4. Combine the watercress and salad greens in a bowl and dress to taste.
  5. In separate bowls dress the avocado and the crab meat & mushrooms to taste.
  6. Arrange the avocado and greens on the plates and top with the crab and mushrooms.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.

Rehydrate dried black mushrooms in a tall container of lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes, or until soft. Swish them in the water, then tear each mushroom into strips. This will dislodge any grit in the long tube of the stem so that it sinks to the bottom. Remove the mushrooms and repeat the soaking and swishing so that the mushrooms are free of any dirt or grit. Drain well.

Substitutions and Variations

Black trumpet mushrooms are one example of a mushroom that once dried, takes on an even more intensified flavor. While this recipe will also work with fresh shiitake or maitake mushrooms, the combination of black trumpets and crab is something quite special. The beauty of own local food is that we can't imagine anything tasting better. Any crab will make a delicious component in this salad.


This mushroom risotto with black truffle sauce is an irresistible excuse to clean out your pantry

Cleaning out the pantry in preparation for a move to a new house prompts a couple of spectacular meals. Why not use the truffles? The little tins of carnaroli rice and the pretty specialty oils? Then there’s a collection of canned and dried chiles, dried mushrooms, fruity vinegars, specialty salts and stunning jams and marmalades.

The spoils from my travels and foodie gifts from friends are turned into a luxurious risotto, several delicious salad dressings, accompaniments for a cheese-and-sausage platter, a kettle of soup and fantastic bread condiments.

As for the risotto, cold days welcome a version packed with aromatic, umami-filled mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. My 2020 goal to boost the percentage of vegetables in all meals prompts the addition of green chiles and baby spinach. Both taste great and enhance the visual appeal of the final risotto.

A favorite product from Urbani Truffles, a tin of black truffle and mushrooms, boldly accentuates the mild flavor of fresh mushrooms in the risotto. The pureed sauce includes champignon mushrooms, porcini, summer truffle, olive oil, garlic and cheese. It’s so good, I also use it on toast, in omelets and cooked pasta.

Alternatively, swap the pricy sauce (about $10 for a 6-ounce can) with an ounce or two of dried mushrooms, such as porcini or morel. Dried porcini, sold sliced, deliver big flavor for an affordable price dried morels tend to be quite expensive, but lend an irresistible, unique flavor.

I stock small plastic containers of inexpensive dried mushrooms (sliced or broken bits) for enriching soups and broths. To use dried mushrooms, soak in just enough hot water to cover them until softened, usually about 20 minutes. Then strain the water through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl the flavorful water can replace some of the risotto’s broth. Use the mushrooms as is, or roughly chop.

The trick to risotto? Organization. I make the seasoning base in advance. Then I organize the rest of the meal: Make a salad, prepare some garlic bread and set the table. About 45 minutes before serving, heat the broth in a separate pan and enjoy the time at the stove tending to the risotto. Or, enlist a volunteer to help with the gentle stirring and broth additions.

Of course, you can adapt this recipe to an Instant Pot. Reduce the broth to 4 ½ cups and follow the manufacturers’ directions. If the risotto is too loose for your taste, simply cook it a few minutes longer without the cover on the pot.

Since the average condiment cupboard might not contain these luxury items, I’ve included substitutes. But the time is now — let’s use up the gourmet gifts and cherished bottles of oil. The results make gray skies feel sunny and lighten the cabinet shelves.

This simple, but elegant meal deserves a bottle of red wine I like a Beaujolais or a medium-bodied pinot noir here. No sense in moving wine to the new house — better to enjoy it now.