There is something about a truffle…
If you’ve never experienced a quality truffle, it’s difficult to understand what all the fuss is about. They have a certain texture – tender but with some “tooth.”
And their flavor! The truffle has a remarkable flavor which doesn’t taste like anything else, capable of transforming a very simple recipe into something memorable.
Beneath the rough black exterior of the Summer Truffle lies the firm flesh, ranging from pale ivory white to dark chocolate mottled with white veins.
While thicker skinned and less intensely flavored (and therefore less expensive), than their Black Winter Truffle cousins (T. melanosporum), Summer Truffles (T. aestivum) have their own uniquely delicate but distinctive aroma. Summer truffles are exceptionally well-suited to many dishes and can make a dramatic and elegant presentation.
Summer Truffles are commonly imported from France and Italy, but they can be found throughout much of central and Eastern Europe where they are harvested during the spring and summer months.
July is the month when Summer Truffles are typically at their peak of ripeness and flavor. In recent years, European Summer Truffles of excellent quality have been in abundant supply. With Summer Truffles at historically low prices this season, there’s no reason for restraint – use them liberally and exuberantly!
Summer truffles have a mild, mushroomy taste that can be most fully appreciated when they are paired with a few simple ingredients in uncomplicated presentations. While Summer Truffles are frequently used in many cooked dishes and sauces, their elusive flavor is most enjoyable when they are served fresh by shaving paper thin slices directly onto canapés & hor d’oeuvre, pasta, egg, potato and rice dishes. A specially designed truffle shaver can be used to serve fresh truffles right at the table.
With their enticing flavor, fragrant aroma, spectacular appearance and moderate price, Summer Truffles are a tremendous value and a truly “affordable luxury.”
Here are a few simple recipes that showcase the subtle, but distinctive flavor of Summer Truffles. Experiment and enjoy!
Spaghettini al Beurre with Summer truffles
Fresh, firm truffles, thinly shaved over warm pasta are a true joy to the senses. Their pleasing aroma and subtle nuances of flavor are released by the gentle warmth of just-cooked pasta.
- 1/2 oz fresh summer truffles
- 6 oz spaghettini (substitute fettuccine, linguine or bucatini)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Good quality Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to directions on package. When the pasta is cooked to ‘al dente’ stage, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water, about 4 tablespoons or so. Return the pasta to the cooking pot along with the reserved pasta water. Heat over medium, add the butter and toss until most of the water has been absorbed and the pasta is well-coated with the butter. The butter and starchy pasta water should form a loose sauce. Add the fresh parsley and toss again.
Divide the pasta into two bowls. Shave the truffle generously over the warm pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Scrambled Eggs with Summer Truffles
Truffles and eggs go together beautifully. Simple as it is, this is probably my favorite way to enjoy the delicate flavor of Summer Truffles – comfort food at it’s very finest.
- 4 large eggs, preferably free range
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- salt & pepper to taste
- 6 slices rustic bread
- 1/2 oz fresh summer truffles
Beat the eggs with cream until smooth and frothy. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the beaten eggs. As the eggs begin to cook and thicken, lift the cooked portion with a spatula so the uncooked egg comes into contact with the pan. Continue to cook, lifting and gently stirring, until the egg is barely cooked through.
Meanwhile, toast the bread lightly and spread with a little butter. Heap the scrambled eggs over the toasted slices of bread. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and generously shave fresh truffles over the top. Devour immediately.
The ultimate potato chip! Scatter a few of these atop grilled fish or sliced steak, or stick one into the top of a mound of fluffy mashed potatoes as an unexpected garnish.
Using a truffle shaver or mandolin, slice the potatoes very thinly and set aside. Slice the truffle into paper-thin rounds, one slice per two potato rounds.
Sandwich a slice of truffle between two slices of potato and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Continue until all potato and truffle slices are sandwiched together. Top with another sheet of wax paper and place a second baking sheet on top. Weight the baking sheet down lightly – 3 or 4 cans of tomatoes or fruit will do nicely. Allow to stand for 30 minutes or so to allow the starchy potato slices to adhere together.
Heat the olive oil to medium high in a medium sized pan. When the oil is hot, gently slip a few of the potato-truffle slices into the pan. Cook, turning very carefully once or twice, until golden brown and crisp. Place on a paper towel lined plate and keep warm. Repeat until all potato-truffle chips are done. Sprinkle generously with sea salt (or truffle salt for an extra truffle kick) and enjoy.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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