Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fresh White Truffles (not the chocolate ones)

About a week ago, I had the following on my calendar: “pick up white truffle at Cooks of Crocus Hill.”  Cooks of Crocus Hill does crop shares and this year they had truffles on their list. Obviously, I couldn’t resist.  I paid my $35 and anxiously awaited their arrival from farm in Oregon (

This was the description on their website: The Oregon June Truffle (Tuber gibbosum) is a late spring/early summer white truffle with a short four to six week season typically centered around the month of June. While similar to the Oregon (Winter) White Truffle, the Oregon June is a rare gem and, in general, a little larger. The Junes have a slight garlic note and pungent aroma that will fill your kitchen and is perfect for infusing marbled meats, cheeses, butter, nuts and oils. These truffles love eggs and make a wonderful addition to egg based sauces. A fresh June truffle aioli is a perfect accompaniment to the bounty of fresh spring goodies from the garden. They also work well with starches such as rice, potatoes or pasta. Combine with wild morels of the same season for a taste of heaven!

When I went to pick them up, I was informed that due to the weather conditions, the truffles were smaller than usual.  To make up for it, I got four truffles instead of one.  Can’t complain about that. 

For the menu, I decided to use the truffles in an appetizer and a simple pasta – no recipes, just instinct on how I wanted to taste the truffles.

For the appetizer, I toasted slices of a baguette (with butter and salt and pepper).  Then I put on a layer of fresh ricotta, drizzled it with honey I bought at the farmers market, sprinkled that with fresh cracked pepper and topped it with small pieces of the truffle.   It was a really good appetizer (if I do say so myself). 

For the main feature, I decided to go simple with fresh pasta with a butter sauce.  I sautéed about a teaspoon of garlic with butter and added a splash of wine and a lot more butter.  

I used fresh pasta that I bought at the farmers market. 

I gave my husband the task of slicing the truffles really thin with a razor blade.   

Butter, pasta, fresh truffles, and fresh parmesan.  How can you go wrong with that?   It was delicious.  However, I will say that I was not happy with the pasta.  It had a gummy texture.  I was really mad that I didn’t just make my own pasta, which was my original plan.  Next time, I will definitely make my own pasta.  Yes, there will be a next time.   It was really fun to have a fresh truffles in my kitchen.  It brought me back to Italy and the sweet, little Italian guy who generously shaved lots of truffles onto my fresh pasta, while the table of New Yorkers at the next table bitched that “they didn’t get that many truffles shaved onto their pasta.”  Ha!  

This is the generous Italian man!  I found his photo - this is in 2007 in Orvieto.
The fresh pasta in Italy that cemented my love of fresh truffles.   

I love visiting Italy from own dining room table.  Although, I think I need to plan a trip back soon.

Sides: I served it with a butter lettuce salad with a buttermilk/shallot dressing topped with shredded parmesan.

Pairing: I served it with one of my favorite white burgundy wines:2005 Bernard Morey Chassagne Montrachet Les Embrazees 1er cru.   

We visited this winery a couple years ago and fell in love with the region and the wine. Here are some photos from that trip to France in 2008.   (Man am I getting the travel bug.)   

This is where I actually tried the wine and fell in love with it.
The next day, we went biking through the countryside and  set out to find the winery - without GPS.  
Beautiful Wine Country

We found it!   We actually rang the bell but no one was home.  
Tough decisions!

FYI - I just organized all of my photos in one spot, which makes them easy to access.  I figured if  I'm talking about something, I might as well add the photo to fully share the experience.   Travel is definitely one of my passions and it is where I get a lot of my food inspiration.   

Do you have a memorable travel-related food experience?   Do share.  And include photos if you have them. 

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