Black Truffles, White Truffles
Courtesy of Feed me Phoebe we have an insight into the world of truffles and a super black truffle recipe to share.
During the summer months, black truffles are harvested in Italy. Their flavour is more subtle than the white truffles and is often cooked slightly to coax out their flavour.
White truffles, on the other hand, are almost exclusively shaved at the table, usually over pasta, risotto or carpaccio. These rare, highly valued truffles are found primarily in Italy’s Piedmont region in the north of the country, where the chalky soil, pH level and specific tree roots provide the perfect breeding ground for this type of fungus.
The main season for white truffles begins in September, reaches its peak in October and November, and begins to taper in December. The truffle that dominates the colder season is, therefore, winter black truffle.
How to Store Truffles
The suggested way to store truffles is in absorbent paper, in a dry airtight container. If kept in the bottom drawer of your fridge, fresh truffles have a shelf-life of about a week at most. To clean it, use a damp cloth or paper towel or a brush. Then slice away!
How to Cook with Truffles
The best way to cook with truffles is as simple as possible.
If you’re going to splurge on white truffles, they should only be shaved on top of dishes. A simple fresh pasta, risotto or scrambled egg are among the classics. Another fantastic pairing is steamed asparagus with a fried egg on top.
In the pasta and risotto department, there’s no need to get too fancy, just start with the best possible ingredients.
If you’re using black truffles, don’t be afraid to give it a little gentle heat to bring out the flavour. Slowly warm some butter in a pan with the shaved mushrooms and scramble your eggs, or use it mixed into a baked cheese dip or frittata. It also is a great option for gilding the lily and shaving over beef carpaccio or infusing into a steak pan sauce with wine.
Vegan Wild Mushroom Risotto with Leeks & Fennel
The key to creating an uber flavourful vegan mushroom risotto is all in the variety of mushrooms chosen and the quality of the stock. If you can, add some of the trimmed mushroom stems to your stock and simmer for a few hours to create extra umami.
Add a little black truffle in the beginning stages so the whole stock is infused, then shave fresh truffles on top.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
1 1/4-pound mixed wild mushrooms cremini, Portobello, shitake, chanterelle, oyster or maitake, cleaned, stems trimmed and chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 medium fennel bulb finely diced
1 medium leek white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
1-quart vegetable stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives for garnish
In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium-high flame. Sauté the mushrooms until nicely browned and their liquid has been released about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary and season generously with salt. Cook one minute more. Remove the mushroom mixture to a bowl.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and sauté the fennel and leeks over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, one minute more. Stir in the rice and toast until the edges are opaque and the center pearly white, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and 1 teaspoon sea salt to the pan, scraping up any brown bits, and cook until reduced by half.
Meanwhile, heat the stock in the microwave or on the stove until warm, but not scalding.
Add 1 cup of the stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to medium-low and gently cook until nearly absorbed. Repeat this process, adding stock by ½ cup measures, until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. You want the risotto to be loose enough that it will spread on a plate, so add more stock as necessary for it’s not gloppy. Stir in the reserved mushrooms and half the chives.
Taste for seasoning.
Garnish with the remaining chives and serve immediately.