Just the other day, I got my first whiff of that swoon-worthy truffle aroma and man, was it delicious.
My husband has an Oregon-based colleague who truffle hunts in her spare time. Knowing I like to cook, she shared a black winter truffle she and her intrepid hound unearthed just days before a meeting both she and my husband were attending. I used the advanced notice we got to do truffle research, flip through recipes, and find something that would produce paper-thin shavings of truffle. (FYI, I got a Microplane chocolate shaver and it worked great for truffles and also for garlic chips that I’ve done since I got it.)
We invited some friends over for lobster risotto, but even after generously shaving truffle over each bowl (and our side salads), there was still quite a bit left. Rather than go on a two-day truffle binge, which definitely has it’s merits, I decided to stretch out the truffle experience by making truffle salt. Just a sprinkle of this earthy, infused salt is perfect for finishing anything that needs an umami boost. And what food wouldn’t benefit from a little more umami? Did you know truffles contain three different umami substances? That’s instant delicious right there.
Here is what you need:
a fresh black truffle
good sea salt (I used Real Salt–sea salt that’s pink and speckled because of the minerals still in it, just like Himalayan pink sea salt, but mined in the US; it’s great stuff!)
Here is what you need to do:
- Put some salt in a glass bowl/jar, then shave in some truffle. Cover the shavings with salt, then shave a little more truffle in, then cover than with salt. Repeat and until you’ve shaved all the truffle you want to shave and make sure it’s all covered in salt. Seal the bowl/jar with a lid so it’s air-tight.
- Now let it sit. For a while. How long you let the flavor infuse is up to you. I left mine for about two weeks.
- Dump the salt and truffle shavings into a food processor and pulse until there are no more large truffle pieces. Then put the salt back in the glass container OR into smaller jars and give it out as gifts.
Okay, so what if you don’t personally know someone who can hook you up with fresh truffles? You’ll have to buy one and that’s tricky because it’s hard to know sometimes exactly what you’re getting or how fresh it is. I found Earthy Delights online–they are based out of Michigan and sell fresh in-season Oregon truffles packed in rice to keep them fresher, longer. For European truffles, go with a tried-and-true like fine grocer legend Dean & Deluca.
What would you make if you found yourself with a fresh truffle on your hands?