Sydney may be in the throes of a springtime fling, but make no mistake; we’re not out of the woods yet. This makes it a good time of the year to take advantage of the last of the spectacular winter produce hanging around…and none can be more luxe than a bit of truffle action.
Australian truffles are becoming more of a hot commodity with every passing season and while in some cases more expensive by weight than gold, there are still accessible ways to add a bit of truffle indulgence to your day. Local NSW salt doyennes Olsson’s have cleverly combined their locally produced gourmet salt with freshly shaved black Perigord truffles, which when sprinkled over almost anything, will imbue that heady aroma into the dish. Failing that, there are a host of good quality truffle oils out there on the market – just be sure it’s legitimately infused and not a synthetic copy.
Bang for your buck truffles? That’s an everyday luxury I can live with. Here’s a simple recipe for risotto that’d be best mates with a bit of late season truffle salt.
2 cups carnaroli rice
1 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2L chicken stock at room temperature
250g unsalted butter
120g Parmigiano reggiano, grated
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
A few good pinches of truffle salt or a slug of truffle oil
1. In a heavy based pan on a low to medium heat, melt 2/3 of the butter and sweat off the onions and garlic until soft. Add the bay leaf and the rice in and turn the heat up slightly, continuously stirring the rice to coat it in the melted butter.
2. Gradually add chicken stock, a bit at a time, each time stirring the rice until the stock is fully absorbed before adding more. You may not need to use all of the stock, so use your judgement to reach a stage where the rice is al dente, and the consistency is to your liking.
3. Once the rice is cooked, remove the bay leaf and add in the grated Parmesan (holding back a little for final garnish) and parsley and stir gently to incorporate.
4. Season with truffle salt or a sparing amount of truffle oil, garnish with the remaining Parmesan and serve.
• Recipe by Melissa Leong, www.fooderati.blogspot.com