Truffles, for Thanksgiving? Author Patricia Wells thinks they could be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Wells just released "Simply Truffles," a cook book dedicated to the sinfully expensive ingredient. A former New York Times reporter, she is the only foreigner and only woman to serve as restaurant critic for a major French publication.
If you dare, Wells suggests her Belgian endive, pine nut, chive and truffle salad. "This recipe is great for Thanksgiving because it is light, colorful, has a nice bit of protein content from the nuts, great crunch, when the rest of the meal is mostly soft, and refreshing as only a salad can be." she tells us.
Wells added that the salad is great vegetarian option for your holiday dinner as well.
BELGIAN ENDIVE, PINE NUT, CHIVE, AND TRUFFLE SALAD
This refreshing winter salad offers crunch, aroma, a fine blending of flavors, and a pleasing contrast of colors. Serve it as a first course, with plenty of crusty bread.
*Makes 4 servings
Equipment: A small jar with a lid; a mandoline or a very sharp knife.
1 fresh black truffle (about 1 ounce; 30 g), cleaned (see Note, page 26)
1/3 cup (50 g) pine nuts
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Several tablespoons best-quality pine nut oil (preferably Leblanc brand)
4 Belgian endive heads, trimmed
4 thin slices sourdough bread, toasted, for serving
1. With a vegetable peeler, peel the truffle. Mince the truffle peelings, place them in the jar, and tighten the lid. Reserve the peelings for another use. With the mandoline or very sharp knife, cut the truffle into thick slices. Cut the slices into matchsticks.
2. Toast the pine nuts: Place the nuts in a small dry skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking the pan regularly, until they are fragrant and evenly toasted, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully! They can burn quickly.
3. Transfer the pine nuts to a bowl. Add the truffles and chives. Toss with just enough pine nut oil to coat the ingredients lightly and evenly. Season lightly with the truffle salt.
4. Slice each endive head in half lengthwise. Place each half, cut side down, on the cutting board and cut on the diagonal into thick matchsticks. Place the endive in a large salad bowl. Add just enough pine nut oil to coat the greens lightly and evenly. Season lightly with the salt. Arrange the endive on 4 individual salad plates. Top with the pine nut, truffle, and chive mixture. Serve with the toast.
VARIATION: For a colorful, heartier winter salad, add about 8 ounces (250 g) each of tiny haricots verts (green beans), blanched and refreshed; seared pancetta matchsticks; and seared fresh mushrooms.
Recipe from SIMPLY TRUFFLES, reprinted with permission from William Morrow. Copyright © 2011 by Patricia Wells