I LOVE TRUFFLES.
I don’t want to get poetic here… but I could. Truffles make my life better. They are delicious, incredible, and the one thing that I still, for the best of me, cannot describe. What DOES a truffle taste like? Beats me. It has the consistency of a mushroom and a slight mushroom flavor, but also has the aromas of an artichoke, and a bit of a garlic pungency. There is nothing like a truffle.
This tiny little fungus is a staple in Umbrian dishes, and since we are staying here for two weeks, I thought I couldn’t do the region (and this blog) justice without including at least recipe that used this beautiful ingredient: Crostini with Truffle Butter.
This recipe—which is incredibly simple to make (and a perfect party dish since it can be prepared ahead of time)—is just three steps! Please, please do not be turned off by the addition of the anchovy: it adds saltiness and some flavor, but the butter does not taste as if there is fish in the slightest.
Truffle Buttered Crostini Recipe
2 anchovy fillets (or 1 large fillet)
(you can purchase one fillet at most specialty shops, butchers, or delis)
125 grams of high quality, sweet butter
50 grams of truffle (we purchased the cheaper sliced truffles in olive oil for roughly $10)
1 loaf of rustic bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
- Bake your bread: slice the loaf, drizzle the pieces with olive oil and salt and pepper, and bake until brown. Set aside and let cool.
- Using a mortar and pestle, grind the anchovy and truffle. Add to the butter.
- Spread on the cooled crostini and enjoy. The remaining butter can be refrigerated and will keep for at least a week; if kept truly airtight, it will keep for longer. Your fridge will smell AMAZING.
Suggested wine pairings
Truffles are such a fun flavor to pair wines with. Since they have such a strong flavor, you can pair them with a more robust wine, like a Montefalco Rosso, which is fragrant thanks to the Sangiovese in the blend, and has a real backbone thanks to the addition of the tannic varietal, Sagrantino. Or, try a different approach to pairings: serve this crostini with a more full-bodied Pinot Noir that has notes of forest floor and mushrooms: this will compliment these aromas in the truffle.
“Sediments” on the dish
I love this dish because A) it has truffles, my favorite flavor and B) it has just three steps! It can also be made ahead of time and can sit in your fridge as a delicious snack… what’s not to love?
Make sure that your crostini are completely cooled before adding the butter: otherwise, the butter will melt, and you will be left with bits of anchovy and truffle… granted, this is not the end of the world: the first time we made this recipe, I couldn’t wait for the crostini to cool and slathered a piece of bread with the butter, and it tasted delicious. But the best option is to let the crostini cool so that you taste the sweet, cold butter as well.
The butter is by far the key ingredient in this dish: make sure that it is a sweet butter (we used a local Umbrian butter that was delicious). Although the truffles can be a bit pricey ($10 for a small jar) this makes a LOT of butter, so it is worth it.
If you want to save a few dollars, you can substitute truffle salsa, which is truffle mixed with mushrooms. You will still get the delicious truffle flavor.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, just use a fork and some elbow grease and call it “rustic”. J