Fresh Truffles, What you need to know…and a Recipe or Two

Fresh Truffles, What you need to know…and a Recipe or Two

About Fresh Truffles:

Grown underground and hunted only by the help of pigs and dogs, these rare and luxurious tubers are one of the most sought after ingredients by top chefs. They have been called the diamond of the kitchen. Known as one of the most desirable gourmet foods, nothing else comes close to the flavor of a truffle.


Biology of Truffles

The truffle is an underground mushroom made up of two parts. The first is the fruiting, the part that you eat. The second part is invisible and is made up of the truffle’s “roots.”

The fruiting body appears during different seasons depending on the type of truffle. The truffle can be large or small, evenly or irregularly shaped, and be present at a depth of between 4 to 16 inches. Underneath its skin, which can be smooth or rough, is a soft flesh.

The truffle’s environment is of the utmost importance for the development of the truffles. It is a very demanding mushroom that needs particular environmental conditions, another reason they are so precious.

Truffles grow in woods that have a mix of trees with a little undergrowth to maintain humidity often found along the banks of streams, but also by footpaths, pine trees, and poplars. Each species of truffle needs different soil and climate conditions.

Nutritional Information

The truffle’s strong point is its scent, which comes from a compound called bis-methyltiomethane, an aromatic hydrocarbon. But a truffle is not just a scent: it also has nutritional value, a value that is almost identical for all the different species of truffles, but which varies depending on the environmental conditions in which the truffle develops.

Truffles contain 72% water, very little vegetable fat (0.6%) and a decent amount of protein (8.6%). Truffles are some of the most nutritious mushroom available. Their proteins are intact and rich in methionine, cysteine, and lysene. Truffles are also rich in minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, sulphur, chlorine, and silicone, as well as amino acids. They also contain fiber (7.6%), an important component for digestion.

Fresh Truffles

See Seasonal Availability and Prices

Black Truffles

-Winter –

a) Tuber Melanosporum Vitt. (Perigord/Dolce di Norcia)

Availability: Nov. – March

• The world’s best-known truffle

The fruity body can vary in size from that of a hazelnut to an orange. Its shape varies from round and even to irregular and lobed. The skin is black, sometimes with dark red or rust colored patches. It ripens in winter, from November to March. In Italy, it grows most commonly in Umbria, Abruzzo, Marche, Toscana, Lazio, and as well as in Veneto, Piedmonte and Liguria.

-Summer –

a) Tuber Aestivum

Availability: June-Sept.

•The most plentifully harvested truffle

The fruity body ranges from the size of a hazelnut to that of an orange. The skin is black. The odor is pleasant and delicate, resembling that of hazelnuts. The main period for ripening runs from June to September. This truffle is commonly found in Europe, and in Italy, or wherever there is limestone terrain.

b) Tuber Uncinatum Chatin. (Burgundy)

Availability: Sept.-Dec.

•Similar to Tuber Aestivum with more pleasing and intense odor

The name of this truffle is derived from its hook shaped spores. The fruity body is large and ranges from the size of an egg to that of an orange, but at times even larger than 10 cm in diameter. The skin is black. Its odor resembles that of a hazelnut . It ripens all year round but mostly from September to December. In Italy, it is found most frequently in central and northern zones.

White Truffles

-Winter –

Tuber Magnatum Pico Vitt. (White Alba)

Availability: Oct. – Dec.

•The most prized among the edible truffles.

The fruity body is usually a lobed, spherical or oval shape. These truffles can be as small as peas or as large as potatoes, and can weigh up to a kilogram. The skin is smooth and of an ochre-yellow or olive-yellow color, and can sometimes exhibit a rusty brown cracked area or bright red spots. The ripening period runs from September to December. White Alba Truffles are found principally in Emilia Romagna, Piemonte, Marche, Molise and occasionally in Lombardia, & Veneto.

-Spring –

Tuber Borchi Vitt. (Bianchetto)

Availability: Jan.-April

The various Italian names attributed to this truffle are due to its color, the period in which it ripens and the habitat in which it is found. The fruity body is small to medium sized, ranging from the size of a pea to that of an apricot. The skin is smooth, variable in color, ranging from ochre-yellow to rust-brown or orange brown, and is often spotted. The period for ripening runs from January to April. It can be found in all areas of Italy in markedly diverse environmental conditions.

*All truffle varieties named after the scientists who classified them:

Pico, Vittadini & Chatin.

Fresh Truffle Storage and Handling

After buying fresh truffles, your precious purchase should be cleaned of any earth by rubbing it gently with a small brush, such as a toothbrush, under running water. Fresh truffles are living, delicate organisms that must be consumed as soon as possible as they tend to dehydrate (at room temperature they lose 1-2% of their weight every day) and lose their scent.

To properly store your truffle, before or in between uses, wrap it in a dry paper towel, which you should change every day. Then place the truffle in a glass jar, close tightly and store in the least cool part of the refrigerator somewhere between 39-46 degrees Fahrenheit.

This storage method guarantees the quality of a prized white truffle will stay for at least a week and that of a black truffle for two weeks.

Our Producers: Appennino Funghi e Tartufi

For almost 20 years, Appennino Funghi e Tartufi has been in the truffle business, selling fresh mushrooms and truffles. Their care when selecting and processing the raw materials, their love and respect for the land, and their passion and ex-perience in the food world, have lead to the establishment of their world re-nowned truffle laboratory. Today Appennino Funghi e Tartufi has become an es-sential point of reference for the food industry as well as for the finest restaurants in Italy and throughout the world.

Luigi Dattilo, the founder and President of Appennino, started when he was just a boy, searching for these amazing tubers. On his 18th birthday, when all his friends had saved up for their first car, as most Italian boys do, Luigi took his savings and bought a dog. His first truffle dog. Now, over 20 years later, he has the second largest, and most highly regarded, quality truffle and mushroom company in Italy as well as subsidiaries in many picking countries, and exports to 4 continents of only the highest of quality fresh and preserved truffle and mushroom products.

Recipes
Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Tort With Vigna Oro Balsamic

(Serves 4-5)

Ingredients:

-3 medium eggplants

– Kosher or fine Sicilian Sea Salt

– 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 1 large or 2 medium yellow onions

– 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of Vigna Oro Balsamic Vinegar

-5 fresh medium tomatoes or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in ¼ rounds

– ¼ cup of fresh goat cheese

– 1 tsp of fresh thyme

-Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:

– Slice eggplants into ¼ inch rounds. Place in ziploc bag with enough olive oil to cover and 1- 2 tsp of salt. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

– Meanwhile slice the onion into rounds and separate. Heat medium sauce pan on the lowest possible heat with a tbsp of olive oil. Add onions and cook on low heat until tender and brown. Add tsp of Vigna Oro and continue to cook.

– For the eggplant: light grill and set to medium heat (You can also use a large saucepan on a stove if you do not have access to a grill). Grill eggplant till brown and tender- about 4-5 minutes on both sides. Once cooked, plate by placing a layer of eggplant, followed by a layer of tomatoes, layer of onions, layer of eggplant. Finish off by crumbling goat cheese and drizzling olive oil, Vigna Oro, thyme, salt and pepper.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe with Vigna Oro Balsamic, Parmesan, Pancetta and Pine Nuts
(Serves 3-4 , recipe adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.com)

Ingredients:

-1 lb. brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut into quarters

-2 tbsp of olive oil

-1 1/2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

-1 tbsp of diced Pancetta

-1 tbsp pine nuts

-Vigna Oro Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 450 F. Trim Brussels sprouts, remove any discolored leaves, and cut into quarters (or halves if they are small.) Put sprouts in mixing bowl and toss with olive oil.

-Cover roasting pan with foil if desired, and spray with non-stick spray if needed. Arrange sprouts in a single layer on roasting pan, and roast 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until sprouts are slightly crisp and golden brown on the edges.

-When sprouts are nearly done, separately sauté pancetta in a pan until crispy and toast pine nuts in a dry pan about 2-3 minutes, until barely starting to brown. Put cooked sprouts back into mixing bowl and toss with parmesan cheese. Arrange on serving plate and sprinkle with pine nuts and pancetta.

-Drizzle and toss with Vigna Oro. Serve hot.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberries & Vigna Oro Balsamic Vinegar
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
-2 cups of good Vanilla Ice Cream

-1 cup of fresh strawberries, washed

– ¼ cup of Vigna Oro Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

Slice strawberries into quarters. Scoop ice cream into bowls generously. Place strawberries on top. Drizzle with Vigna Oro. Enjoy!

Oro Nero

Ricotta & Roasted Pepper Crostini with Oro Nero Balsamic Vinegar

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:
– 4 large red peppers

– 1 tbsp of olive oil

– 1 Baguette

– 1 cup fresh ricotta

– Salt and Pepper to taste

– Oro Nero Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling

Directions:
-Adjust oven rack to upper position. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rub peppers with olive oil and place on baking sheet.

-Roast peppers in oven for 45 minutes to an hour, turning the peppers every 10-15 minutes until skin is almost dark brown. Once fully roasted, remove from oven and let cool.

-Once cooled, peel peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Slice into thin strips. Mix with ricotta, adding salt and pepper to taste.

– Slice Baguette and lightly toast

– Spoon pepper and ricotta mixture onto sliced baguette. Drizzle with Oro Nero. Serve and Enjoy!

Radicchio with Smoked Mozzarella, Oro Nero Balsamic Vinegar, and Prosciutto
(Serves 4-6 recipe adapted from Epicurious.com)

Ingredients:

-2 medium heads radicchio (1 1/2 pounds total), each cut into 6 wedges and cored

-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

-1/3 cup Oro Nero Balsamic Vinegar

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

– 6 oz smoked mozzarella, sliced and torn into pieces

– 2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto

Directions:

-Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

-Arrange radicchio wedges, cut sides up, in a 2 1/2-quart shallow glass or ceramic baking dish (11 by 7 inches), then drizzle with oil and Oro Nero and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

-Roast radicchio, turning over once or twice, until wilted and tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

-Arrange cheese over radicchio, then arrange prosciutto over cheese and roast until cheese is just melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pork Roast with Rosemary, Garlic, and Oro Nero Balsamic Vinegar
(Serves 8, recipe adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen.com)

Ingredients:

-1 Boneless pork loin roast (about 3.5 lbs)

-Salt

Marinade:

– 1/2 cup olive oil

-1/4 cup Oro Nero Balsamic Vinegar

-2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

-2 tbsp garlic puree

Directions:

-Mix marinade ingredients.

-Cut shallow slits into both sides of roast. Rub meat on both sides with small amount of salt. Put roast into large ziploc bag, pour marinade in, close bag, and marinate 8-10 hours in refrigerator, turning the bag a few times if you can.
-Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. To cook, put roast in the oven for 25 minutes per pound or until the meat thermometer shows 145 F. Let sit 15 minutes before cutting. Serve and Enjoy!

Vigna Bianca

Vigna Bianca Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

(Adapted from Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness)

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups Vigna Bianca balsamic vinegar

– 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar (to your liking. Can be substituted with honey)

Directions:
-Bring vinegar to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer.

-When it reduces halfway, add brown sugar.

-Simmer some more until it becomes syrupy and sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. As it cools it will thicken up.

-Store leftovers in refrigerator

Vigna Bordo

Vigna Bordo Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

-1 tbsp Dijon mustard

-1 garlic clove, minced

-1/2 cup olive oil

-Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

TRUFFLES
Grilled Chicken with Truffle Salt & Parmesan Cheese

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

-4 chicken breasts, rinsed, dried and pounded

– Olive Oil

– Ground pepper to taste

– Truffle Salt

– ½ cup roughly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

– Marinade chicken breasts in a generous amount of olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper for at least a ½ hr to 6 hours.

– Heat large sauce pan on a medium heat. Place chicken in the pan and cook until meat feels firm when pressed and clotted juices begin to emerge when pressed, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Once cooked, sprinkle with Truffle Salt and parmesan cheese and covered with lid for 30 seconds until cheese has melted. Serve and Enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes with Truffle Salt

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
-2 lbs Red Bliss or Fingerling Potatoes, scrubbed clean, dried

-3 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Truffle Salt

Directions:

-Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice potatoes into ¾ inch wedges. Toss with olive oil.

-Place potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer and cover tightly with aluminum foil and cook for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown. Turn potatoes on other side and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

-Once potatoes are golden and crispy remove from oven. Toss with Truffle Salt to taste. Serve and Enjoy!

Steak Truffle Tartar
(Serves 6, Recipe adapted from Appennino Tartufi)

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 Ibs prime ground beef

– 2 medium shallots, minced

– 4tbsp Truffle Sauce

– 1 tbsp “Il Casolare” extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 fresh egg yolk

– Black Truffle Oil

– SoSalt fine sea salt

Directions:

Serve this tartar as a classy appetizer, but be sure to use the freshest, top quality ground beef you can find.

-Place the meat, shallots, Truffle Sauce, “Il Casolare” extra-virgin olive oil and a good pinch of SoSalt fine sea salt in a large bowl and mix using your hands.

-When all the ingredients are well combined, form the mixture into a large circular patty shape (or other shape of your choice), and place on a serving dish.

-Very carefully, position the egg yolk on top of the meat.

-Garnish with a drizzle of Black Truffle Oil and serve immediately

Truffle Tagliolini with Truffle Butter

(Serves 4, Recipe adapted from Appennino Tartufi)

Ingredients:

-1 package of Morelli Tagliolini with Truffles

-1 tbsp of Truffle butter, black or white

– 4-6 slices of bianchetto truffle (for garnish)

– SoSalt Coarse Sea Salt

Directions:

-Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

-Add Morelli Truffle Tagliolini and cook for approximately 3 minutes until al dente and drain.

-Melt half the Truffle butter in a large pan over a low heat.

-Add pasta and remaining Truffle butter.

-Toss well.

-Garnish with Bianchetto slices and serve!

Porcini

Porcini Mushroom Omelet with Asiago Cheese & Truffles

(Serves 3-4 )

Ingredients:

– 1 cup of Dried Slices of Porcini Mushrooms, soaked, rinsed and dried

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 8 eggs

– 1 pinch Truffle Salt

– ¾ cup grated Asiago cheese

– 1 tsp Truffle Oil, White or Black

Directions:

– Heat olive oil medium sauce pan on a medium flame. Add porcinis and cook until tender 5-10 minutes.

– Crack and whisk eggs, adding a pinch of Truffle Salt and ½ tbls of water.

– Add egg mixture to the mushrooms, covering the mushrooms and lining the entire pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Run a rubber spatula under eggs to see if firm. Once firm, add Asiago cheese and a drizzle of Truffle Oil. Fold over and continue to cook until eggs cease to be runny and cheese is melted.

– Serve and Enjoy!

Porcini Tagliatelle with Wild Mushroom Pate

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

-1 package of Morelli Porcini Tagliatelle

-Porcini Olive Oil

-1 jar Wild Mushroom Pate

– Sosalt Coarse Sea Salt

Directions:

-Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

-Add Morelli Porcini Tagliatelle and cook for approximately 3 minutes until al dente and drain.

-In a large pan over a low heat, combine Wild Mushroom Pate, cream and a drizzle of Porcini oil.

-Add pasta and toss well.

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