The Truffle is a gourmet food that ranks alongside caviar and saffron in price, rarity and mystique. The exclusive black truffle originated in France and has recently become a lucrative agricultural crop in many parts of the world. Farmers in the US, Australia, Chile, Spain, New Zealand, England and now South Africa are putting in plantations of this high-value, low-volume fungus for export to Europe, U.S. and Asia.
Truffle oil is used to flavour a range of dishes, either on its own or together with fresh truffles. It is most popular in simple pasta, egg and potato dishes, but is also widely used to bind flavours in more complex dishes, such as roast chicken and steak. Truffle oil can also be used in vinaigrette for salads that contain assertive greens, strong cheeses and smoked or cured meats.
Here are ten ways to use truffle oil:
- Drizzle over roasted or grilled asparagus or artichoke
- Add a few drops to warm potato salad or to mash potato
- Stir it into almost any cream soup
- Add a few drops to tuna tartare
- Brush it over the cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches
- Stir it into chicken salad
- Drizzle over garlicky sautéed potatoes or oven roasted tiny new potatoes
- Dress up egg salad with a splash or two
- Anoint a roast chicken or any roasted bird with it
- Drizzle over any grilled fish
Truffle oil blends particularly well with other fatty or oily foodstuff, such as mayonnaise and butter. Try mixing some truffle oil with these and use them as you usually would. A really tasty treat is to dip French fries into truffle flavoured mayonnaise.