A warm summer night, dinner with friends and a divine salad combination made for the perfect get together and memorable culinary experience. Two simple ingredients: earthy, fragrant white truffle oil and sweet butter lettuce married together so well I was surprised I hadn’t considered them a pair before.
Truffles or the “fruit of the woods” span nearly 70 known varieties with black truffles (often from Umbria) and white truffles (from Piemonte) being the most desirable. Fresh truffles are available from late fall to midwinter so prime time is right around the corner. As many people already know, truffles have a symbiotic relationship with tree roots (mycorrhiza) and are usually found at the base of trees.
A bottle of white truffle oil can be found in my kitchen but is often relegated to special occasions. My recent taste experience has sparked the notion that truffle oil can be used in a similar fashion to sesame oil; in small doses it adds unexpected flavor and a dash of simple extravagance – without the need for a special occasion. The recipe below, courtesy of my good friend Irina, is light but deeply satisfying. Enjoy!
Butter lettuce with White Truffle Oil
- Butter lettuce (one head)
- Extra virgin olive oil (1 ½ T, or to taste)
- White truffle olive oil (1 teaspoon or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon juice
- Champagne vinegar
Mix the lettuce and tarragon together. Add the olive oil, toss. Add the truffle oil to the lettuce along with salt/pepper. Toss and serve.