A Midsummer Night's Truffle

All year long, my wife and I wait for summer. And when it's here, nothing beats cocktail hour, especially when these appetizers are on the table.

Bagno Caldo with White Truffle Olive Oil
Bagno caldo is literally a “warm bath.” But in this case, it’s also the popular name of a delicious antipasto, featuring warmed veggies bathed in olive oil. You can pick your favorites, but here are some of mine:
  • 10 tiny new potatoes, scrub, cut into quarters, leave skin on. Drop in salted boiling water until tender.
  • 4 celery stalks, washed, cut into 2”- 3” pieces.
  • 1 pint fresh snap peas. Remove the tough closure “string” and blanch in salted boiling water for 30 seconds.
  • 1 head each of broccoli and cauliflower. Cut off tiny florets only and blanch (as snow peas) for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Arrange vegetables on a platter.
Now, for the bath:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 anchovy filet
  • one garlic clove minced most finely
  • 2 tablespoons of da Rosario White Truffle Olive Oil
  • pinch of sea salt
Combine the olive oil, garlic and anchovy in a small skillet on super low-low heat. Stir the mixture slowly, mashing anchovy as it warms. After 5 minutes or so, remove the skillet from the flame just as the aroma begins to open. Add a pinch of salt. Pour mixture into a small bowl and drizzle da Rosario White Truffle Olive Oil into the mixture; this way some bites are garlic-y and others are more truffle-y. Arrange bowl onto platter with veggies.

White Truffle Frico
These appetizers that are actually cheese crepes. Only better.
  • 6 ounces Montasio cheese (if you can't find this, use a good Parmigiano)
  • da Rosario White Truffle Honey
  • da Rosario Whole Black Truffles, drained and shaved
  • da Rosario Porcini Olive Oil
Grate the Montasio (a northeastern Italian cow’s milk cheese) using the biggest-hole side of the grater. Heat a big, non-stick skillet to medium-high, as if you were making pancakes. One at a time, drop 6 heaping tablespoons of grated cheese dollops evenly around the skillet. Each will melt outward. Spoon-flatten as needed. Check for softness (consistency of a pancake) and flip. Each round of 6 crepes takes about 2 minutes to complete.

Remove first batch of fricos onto platter (do not stack) and smear a 1/4 teaspoon of da Rosario Truffle Honey on each frico. On the next batch, top with 2 shaved slices of da Rosario Black Truffles on each. The last batch gets a 1/4 teaspoon da Rosario Porcini Olive Oil on each. These can be served as is, or folded like a taco. Continue rotating the batches until you're finished. Serve at room temperature with a bottle of something cold – Prosecco is perfect. Makes about 24 bite-sized fricos.

Truffled Quail Eggs with Baby Asparagus and Prosciutto
Local fresh asparagus gets the da Rosario treatment.
  • 1 bunch of thin summer asparagus, washed
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • 6 Quail eggs, or, 6 tiny chicken eggs (Quail eggs are often found in specialty food stores or at the butcher shop.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated parmigiano
  • da Rosario White Truffle Olive Oil
Brush asparagus with olive oil. Place on medium temperature grill. Roll occasionally until grill marks appear. Set aside, then turn grill down to the lowest flame. Wait a few minutes, and place each slice of prosciutto individually on the grill for about ten seconds. This will crisp the ham and give it a smoky flavor. Set aside as well.

Fry one egg per person sunny side up, 2-3 eggs per pan. Don’t overcook – make sure the yolks are still runny. Add salt and pepper to taste. On individual plates, put a bed of grilled asparagus; add crumpled prosciutto, then one egg. Top each serving with a light dusting of parmigiano, followed by 1 teaspoon of da Rosario White Truffle Olive Oil. Serves 6.

The best part about these dishes? They won't take you away from your friends and family – or your cocktail – for long. Here's to summer!

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