The summer of truffle love

Three easy dishes

Stuck for new ideas for summer meals? You’d be surprised at how tasty some all-American comfort dishes get when you add some truffles. Mashed potatoes, starchy, creamy and buttery, are a perfect vehicle for delivering the wild truffle taste. Truffle products on grilled meats and vegetables are a quick and easy way to carry the truffle flavor of the forest; my wife loves truffles in her good old grilled cheese. Even mega-chef Alain Ducasse offers Macaroni and Cheese with Truffle Reduction on his menu.

Here are a few dishes my family and friends really love that don’t require heaps of time or money:

White Bean & Truffle Puree
A very nice summer appetizer with pita chips or bread for dipping.
  • One 27 oz. can of cannelloni or Great White Northern beans
  • da Rosario White Truffle Oil
  • Olive oil, sea salt
Drain the beans and mash with a fork) or puree in food processor. Add sea salt to taste and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Blend. Add 2 tablespoons of White Truffle Oil. Blend again.

You’ll smooth it into a white frothy paste. (If it’s still a little dry, add a drizzle of White Truffle Oil on the top.) Enjoy.

Honey Truffle Grilled Pork
Treat the other white meat star right with a little truffle love.
  • Four thick-cut pork chops
  • da Rosario White Truffle Honey
  • Sea salt
Grill your chops rare to medium-rare. When done, sprinkle with sea salt. “Ice” each chop with 1 tablespoon of White Truffle Honey; spread evenly. Place them in a shallow bowl with a lid, cover, and let truffle honey melt down into chops as they finish cooking. Bring to table 3 to 4 minutes later, lift the lid, and let the aroma engulf your dinner guests. Serves four.

Baby Rucola, Parmesan Cheese, Pancetta and Button Mushroom Salad
This is the “covered dish” that always seems to go first at potlucks.
  • 2 bunches of baby rucola (enough for four people), washed twice
  • 2 slices of 1/4-1/2” thick pancetta (can substitute bacon)
  • 5-6 button mushrooms
  • 2-3 ounces of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 table spoons of da Rosario White Truffle Olive Oil
  • Lemon and sea salt
Cut the pancetta slices into 10 tiny cubes. Put paper towel on microwave-safe plate, then cubes on top; microwave on high for 2 minutes; spill into salad bowl. Slice each button mushroom into thin scalloped slices with a potato peeler; then into the salad bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice, then add rucola and 2 or 3 pinches of sea salt to taste. Toss gently. Shave 10-15 paper-thin slices of Parmesan cheese with potato peeler to top off salad. Serves four.

(Note: Some people call rucola “arugula.” I don’t.)

I hope you’ll enjoy these easy and tasty hot weather recipes as much as I do. When the cook stays cool, everything tastes better.

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