5 Recipes From The Oregon Truffle Festival

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"Smell the truffle, then hunt the truffle." (Kathy Gunst)
"Smell the truffle, then hunt the truffle." A truffle-hunting dog in Oregon.(Kathy Gunst)

The Oregon Truffle Festival gets underway on Friday, Jan. 25, in Eugene, Ore.

The three-day event combines truffle workshops, dog training sessions, elaborate truffle dinners and, well, just about everything you ever wanted to know about growing, hunting and cooking the coveted fungi.

Truffles grow wild throughout the U.S., beneath the forest mulch near the roots of certain trees.

They are a great delicacy, and very expensive.

Oregon in particular is a good place to learn about and hunt for truffles. People come from all over the world for the festival.

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst attended the festival last year and brought back five recipes to share with us (all recipes below):

____Celery Root with Truffled Remoulade and Hazelnuts

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From Jason French, chef/owner of Ned Ludd in Portland, Ore.

Note: Celery root, or celeriac, is a delicious winter root vegetable.

Celery Root with Truffled Remoulade with Hazelnuts. (Kathy Gunst)
Celery Root with Truffled Remoulade with Hazelnuts. (Kathy Gunst)

About 1 cup mayonnaise, homemade or bottled
About 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1 teaspoon tarragon, stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon chives, thinly sliced
1 large celery root, peeled, trimmed and cut into julienne strips
2 Braeburn apples, or your favorite variety, cut into julienne strips
1/2 ounce white truffles, minced or 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil or to taste
1 cup hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and chopped

1. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, capers, tarragon, parsley and chives and season to taste. Let sit, covered in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to meld.
2. Place the celery root, apples, truffles (or oil) in a large bowl. Add enough of the remoulade sauce to coat. Divide between 4 to 6 plates and top the salad with the hazelnuts.

____Truffled White Bean Puree

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From Jason French, chef/owner of Ned Ludd in Portland, Ore.

White bean puree with truffles and flatbread. (Kathy Gunst)
White bean puree with truffles and flatbread. (Kathy Gunst)

1 quart dry white beans
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
1 carrot, peeled and split lengthwise
1/2 cup white wine
Water or stock
1/2 ounce Oregon white truffle, sliced (or 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil, or to taste)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Cover beans with double their volume in water. Bring to a boil and allow to sit covered for 10 minutes.
2. Strain the beans and place back in the pot with the thyme, bay leaf, onion, carrots, wine and water or stock to cover. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender.
3. Puree in a food processor, add the truffles (or truffle oil) and cheese. Adjust seasoning and serve with flat bread, crackers, or crudité.

____Gnocchi di Parrano e Tartuffi

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From Chef Tom Bollag of Bruno's Chef's Kitchen in Eugene, Ore.

Dr. Charles Levre holds thousands of dollars worth of black truffles. (Kathy Gunst)
Dr. Charles Levre holds thousands of dollars worth of black truffles. (Kathy Gunst)

1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 pound Emilia brand potato gnocchi, or your favorite brand
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped shallots
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry Oregon Pinot Gris
5 to 6 shavings Oregon winter white truffle, or 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil or to taste
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh whole cream
2 to 3 tablespoons grated parrano or Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Melt butter over high heat in sauté pan.
2. Add the gnocchi and sauté 30 seconds.
3. Add shallots and pepper and white wine.
4. Bring to boil, add truffles (or truffle oil to taste) and cream.
5. Continue to boil until sauce is reduced to approx half or thick consistency.
6. Stir in the cheese until well incorporated and serve. Top with chopped chives.

____Polpettone of Pork, Veal, Mortadella, Egg and Oregon Black Truffle

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From Rocky Maselli, executive chef at A16 Rockridge in Oakland, Calif.

A woman with a truffle-hunting dog at the 2012 truffle festival. (Kathy Gunst)
A woman with a truffle-hunting dog at the 2012 truffle festival. (Kathy Gunst)

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
1/4 pound ripe Oregon black truffle, diced
1/4 pound mortadella, cubed
4 sprigs thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
several gratings of fresh nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 eggs, soft boiled
3 to 4 bay leaves
salt and pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a large bowl, combine the pork, veal, truffles, mortadella, thyme, garlic, nutmeg, beaten eggs and bread crumbs. Season with a pinch of salt and a few twists of cracked black pepper, then mix thoroughly.
3. Lightly oil a sheet of parchment paper approximately 18 x 12 inches. Place the meat mixture on it and with wet hands spread out into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Place the soft-boiled eggs side by side down the center of the rectangle, on the long axis. Lift one end of the paper and roll into a close spiral or loaf shape. Press the ends closed and pat it to a neat log.
4. Situate the log in the middle of the paper, lengthwise. Press a few bay leaves into the top. Bring up the sides of the parchment, matching the long edges. Fold the long edges together two or three times down to the top of the roll. Close the ends like a parcel and fold under the polpettone. Your end result should be a log shaped parcel. Place it on a baking dish.
5. Place the dish on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake about 35 minutes, until internal temp is 145°. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving, then open the parcel to drain off any juices for a little sauce, if you like. Slice and serve with a green salad or mashed potatoes.

Yield: 6-8 portions

____Grilled Escarole with Oregon White Truffle Vinaigrette

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From Rocky Maselli, executive chef at A16 Rockridge in Oakland, Calif.

Oregon white truffles. (Kathy Gunst)
Oregon white truffles. (Kathy Gunst)

1/4 pound ripe Oregon white truffle
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 large shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 heads of escarole
salt and pepper to taste

1. Dice half of the truffles and combine in a small bowl with the vinegar and shallot. Let the mixture sit and macerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Slowly add the oil, using a whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
2. Wash the escarole and quarter lengthwise, leaving the root end attached to hold things together while you're grilling. On a very hot grill, cook the escarole for 1 to 2 minutes on both sides. At this point, remove the root end of escarole and discard. Chop the rest into bite sized pieces. Dress with the vinaigrette and taste for seasoning. While the escarole is still warm shave the remaining truffles over the top and serve.

Yield: 4 portions

This segment aired on January 24, 2013.


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