For the month of January, we are highlighting the decadent black truffle on our menus with three fabulous preparations. The black truffle is the fruiting body of a fungus that is typically found 4”-12” below the surface, making it difficult to locate, which is one of the reasons why it’s one of the most expensive foods in the world: it can fetch $100-$400/pound. The black truffle, or black Périgord truffle, is named after the Périgord region in France and grows with oak and hazelnut trees.
Fortunately for us, the Pacific Northwest is also the perfect breeding ground for truffles, since they thrive in moist, warm forests. Reportedly, they are most easily found two weeks after a good rain, and buddy up at the base of fir, oak, hazelnut, hickory, birch, beech, and eucalyptus trees.
Black truffles are harvested in late autumn and winter which make them a perfect match for the dishes we are featuring this month, one of which is the Black Truffle Gnocchi, created by El Gaucho Bellevue Executive Chef Sarah Scott. This dish is a fantastic accompaniment to your favorite steak, or is a hearty vegetarian entreé.
- 5 ounces potato gnocchi, thawed
- 2 tbls bulk butter
- 3 oz Mushroom Blend
- 1/3 oz truffle peelings
- 08 fl oz truffle white oil
- ¼ oz baby wild arugula
- El Gaucho Seasoning* to taste
- ½ oz parmesan reggiano cheese, grated
- Blanch gnocchi in boiling water
- Meanwhile, add 2 TBL salted butter to a small sauté pan and heat on medium-high until just barely brown.
- Immediately add the mushrooms and cook for 20-30 seconds
- Add the cooked gnocchi, baby arugula, truffle peelings and Gaucho seasoning to taste
- Lightly toss so that the arugula is only slightly wilted
- Garnish with a drizzle of truffle oil and parmesan
Serve immediately. Serves two.