How I Learned to Love Truffle Oil and Stop Worrying

By November 13, 2011 Rants, Recipes 20 Comments
mushrooms


Truffle oil is one of those ingredients that are so fashionable to hate right now. Vilification and bigotry are so common when it comes to food, and if some big shot decides truffle oil is a crap ingredient, everyone else blindly agrees. You hear it over and over again: “it’s not the real thing” or “it’s a cheap rip off”. It becomes so hard to disagree when everyone make such quick judgement. I happen to like truffle oil. I don’t care if it’s not the same as shaving a hundred dollar piece of fungus on a perfectly cooked egg. In my opinion, truffle oil has its place in the kitchen, just like chili oil or lemon oil. It adds so much flavour to food that it’s a shame not to use it.

What gives truffle oil its bad reputation is a family of oils infused with artificial truffle aromas – some chemical made in a lab and engineered so that it smells like truffle. Completely fake. But there are also great products out there. Real olive oil infused with real truffle. I get mine from Simon Johnson and there’s a small slice of black truffle floating around in the oil. It’s strong and earthy and I use it in small amounts when I roast my mushrooms. Try and get your hands on some good truffle oil. Toss thick slices of mushrooms in some salt, olive oil, chopped garlic and a drizzle of truffle oil. You can also sprinkle a bit of dried thyme on top. Bake in a tray covered with aluminium foil for around 30 minutes at 190c. Take the foil off and bake for a further 30 minutes until the mushroomy liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are soft and dark. I love making big batches of these mushrooms and I keep them in the fridge for days. They go with anything – eggs, pasta, steak, sandwiches – and the truffle oil only makes them more delicious. A good truffle oil is a beautiful thing.

20 Comments

  • I completely agree! Love truffle oil on egg, gnocchi, or even just to dip fresh sourdough in. I get mine from the Essential Ingredient or Simon Johnson too. Truffle oil and mushrooms really is a no brainer!

  • I enjoy truffle oil in small quantities and it has to be good. As you say, there is some rubbish being promoted out there. May I dip some bread into your mushrooms please?

  • I bought my last bottle from Simon Johnson and I remember joking with my wine lover friend who doesn’t cook at all that the price was the equivalent of a bottle of Grange. He snuffed it until I invited him for a dinner party and used it for garlic bread, a baked egg custard, risotto al funghi and he became a changed man.

    I won’t call it an essential ingredient but it definitely adds beautiful flavours and despite it’s relatively expensive, you only need a small amount each time.

  • I didn’t realise there was some fashionable hatin’ going on. I’ve never used truffle oil, but I’m open to it!

  • I’ve never bought truffle oil but am going to seek out a bottle of Simon Johnson’s now. I recently saw an early batch of Murray River Salt’s new truffle salt at the Adelaide Good Food & Wine Show. They use their regular pink salt and infuse it with truffles. It smelt absolutely divine – I can’t wait to get my hands on a jar once they’re properly launched to sprinkle it on scrambled eggs.

  • In one of Masterchef US episodes, Gordon Ramsay was quite put-off when one of the auditioners used truffle oil. I don’t remember if the dish came out good, though.

  • une compo bien parfumée
    Je te souhaite un beau lundi
    Valérie.

  • gummi baby says:

    Love, love, LOVE truffles and good quality oil is heaven, even just adding a dash into a plain savoury soup, like cauliflower or broccoli just takes it to another level. I live for the day when truffles are as easily available as some of the other previously gourmet ingredients are now. 😀

  • I buy mine from Simon Johnson too. A splash on a homemade pizza just adds that little bit of indulgence or even a sprinkling on a simple mushroom risotto. It does have a place in any kitchen.

  • superMan56 says:

    I recently saw an early batch of Murray River Salt’s new truffle salt at the Adelaide Good Food & Wine Show. They use their regular pink salt and infuse it with truffles. It smelt absolutely divine – I can’t wait to get my hands on a jar once they’re properly launched to sprinkle it on scrambled eggs.

  • Gaby says:

    How much does it cost (the one from Simon Johnson)?

  • Adam says:

    Try Tetsuya’s Truffle Salt – absolutely delicious and true truffle flavour…

  • Melleemoo says:

    Anything food and fungus related is brilliant! I agree you need the good stuff like vanilla essence is nothing compared to extract which is still an easy substitute for the real thing when wanting the scent of the real thing! Mmm truffle!!

  • CorinneC says:

    Thanks for sharing this post! I love truffle but haven’t tried using truffle oil at all.

  • I’ve never had a chance to try Truffle oil before, it sounds pretty good with Mushrooms and garlic. Nice!

  • I agree with you. The problem is that people tend to blindingly follow the reviews or statements of the experts.

    I believe that the best review can be done by the person actually using the ingredient in the kitchen.

  • Amanda says:

    I completely agree with you! I love a truffle oil mash, pasta with truffle oil pangrattato… etc. I use the Simon Johnson truffle oil also.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • new ingredients for me..thanks to you..

  • A pox on those that try to push ‘haute couture’ food on us all! What a shame that a large portion of the general populace are so easily influenced.

    Let’s make 2012 year of the anti-fashion food fad!

  • Michael says:

    I have to admit I haven’t really tried to make truffle oil a success in my cooking, but just found you blog and you’ve inspired me to at least give it a go. Maybe I’ll become a convert to the oily truffle world 🙂

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