Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #108

The Expatriate Chef is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm following on from last week and featuring Black Truffles.

Black Truffle

This is an Umbrian Black Truffle and while the white truffle has my heart, the black truffle probably offers more possibilities in the kitchen. Stored in items such as polenta, flour and rice it will infuse them with its earthy scent.

In this case I've been storing these truffles in rice but not any ordinary rice. Ever since attending the a taste workshop at Slow Cheese I've been fascinated by Acquerello's aged Carnaroli rice.

Acquerello Rice Acquerello Rice

Unlike regular rice, the unhulled grains are stored in temperature controlled conditions from 1 to 3 years. It was found that this ageing process retarded the development of starches. This means that when making risotto, the rice will be able to absorb more liquid resulting in a plumper, more flavoured grain.

Acquerello rice

Buried in this tin are the truffles, silently imbuing the grains with their wonderful flavour. My truffle will be doing double duty as I'll also be finely shaving them and using them in this simple dish of Black Truffle Risotto.

Black Truffle Risotto

Black Truffle Risotto

1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Acquerello rice
1 black truffle, finely shaved
mild chicken or vegetable stock
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
butter, extra

Prepare the Black Truffle:
Clean the truffle with a firm brush to remove any traces of dirt that might still be attached. When cleaned, shave the truffle to give you fine slices.

sliced black truffle

Place a little oil and a knob of butter in a deep pan over a medium heat and when the butter has melted add the chopped onion, carrot and celery.

Cook this until softened but not coloured and then add the rice. Keep stirring to ensure the grains are coated with the butter/oil and cook for a minute or two.

Add a little boiling stock to the pan - this should fizzle and be absorbed almost immediately. Keep stirring and add another ladle along with a third of the shaved truffle.

Keep adding ladles of stock as they are absorbed by the rice. Add another third of the shaved truffles halfway through the cooking.

When you add the last ladle of stock add the remaining truffle slices. Finally add a generous amount of butter and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir it vigourously into the cooked risotto. This gives that beautiful creamy and velvety finish to your risotto.

Serve into bowl and eat immediately.

black truffle risotto

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  1. Sliced black truffles - such a beautiful sight!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous and likely delish!

  3. So interesting and so delicious sounding. I can imagine this must taste just heavenly. Never heard about this type of rice before either, fascinating.

  4. how did it taste?

  5. I'm pretty ignorant about truffles... how long did you store them in the rice? Do they "go bad" after a period of time? The risotto looks pretty!

  6. Do the truffle slices remind you of something just as expensive? They look a little like 9+ Waygu beef don't you think? Now there could be be a heavenly match right there!

  7. Storing them with the eggs is also a wonderful - truffle omelets!
    Now I know what I want for Christmas - truffles!

  8. Wow, Haalo - this risotto is so tempting, I want some, please! :)

  9. Indeed Nora - they are almost too beautiful to eat...almost.

    Thanks Peter.

    Thanks Kalyn - the rice is new to me and I think it is excellent. It does live up to its claims.

    Thanks Joy!

    Hi Anon - it tasted like black truffle, sort of like a damp forest. It's hard to say the best thing is to try it yourself!

    Hi Christianne - yes truffles will go bad, they need to kept refrigerated. These have been keep in the rice for a week now - one was sliced for the risotto and the other is still in the rice, it will be eaten by the end of the week.

    Hi Neil - Paalo thought they look liked brains though I agree they do look like highly grained wagyu. That would be quite a luxurious match. It's just a pity I can't bring them back with me!

    Too true Katie, eggs love truffles. I hope Santa hears you and comes down bearing truffles!

    Thanks Patricia - I have a bowl waiting for you ;)

  10. oh. my. god...

    how beautiful. i've never had a fresh truffle. but soon! wow...

  11. Thanks Claudia - I do hope you enjoy your truffle experience!

  12. such a beautiful photo of the slices!

  13. Thanks Anna - it was Paalo's masterful slicing that makes them look so good


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