Mushrooms & Truffles, Our Favorite Fall Ingredients for Seasonal Side Dishes
The Fall Fungi
The fascinating world of fungi is easily our favorite ingredient when paired with fresh green EVOO - or truffle-infused olive oils - to capture the culinary essence of fall.
You should know a few essential fungi terms regarding mushrooms and truffles. Words like mycelia, fruiting bodies, and spores will help you get a handle on all the mushroom lingo.
Mushrooms and truffles grow in networks of underground threads called mycelia. Every year, autumn rainfall stimulates mycelia, which reacts by creating fruiting bodies that release their seeds (or spores) and propagate to make delicious edible mushrooms. Since mushrooms and truffles need damp, dark spaces to thrive and cooler temperatures, fall is fungi's prime time for growth and harvest.
Tips: How to clean Mushrooms
It sounds so complicated! Keep it simple - you only need a damp paper towel to remove any dirt by wiping each mushroom one at a time. Make sure you don't drench or soak mushrooms in water- they absorb water like little sponges. Your EVOO prefers them mostly dry for optimal cooking conditions.
Tips: How to Store Mushrooms
Keep them unwashed in the refrigerator for up to two days in a paper bag or their original packaging. Because fungi need to breathe, do not store mushrooms in airtight containers or plastic bags. As a rule of thumb, mushrooms keep in a refrigerator for up to three days. Try lining a container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out :)
Why We ❤️ Mushrooms & Truffles
Besides being nutrient-rich and beneficial to heart health, mushrooms are a centerpiece of many fall recipes. Extra virgin olive oil helps to transport fungi's nutrients throughout your bloodstream to amplify the fungi effect.
With such a wide variety of mushrooms available, it's easy to add them to our diet and they work wonders in cool-weather comfort foods. And, they act as little flavor-absorbing food sponges, infusing dishes with every fungi forkful. So now we move forward into a fungi family member we adore - the truffle.
Fresh Truffles: an underground favorite
Truffles are an edible underground fungus that is considered a delicacy. You will find them in small amounts at higher-end restaurants during fall, shaved over fresh pasta, eggs, and risotto. Once per year, fresh truffle harvests in Italy and France last only a few weeks; they are uncovered in minuscule amounts using pigs and dogs to sniff out this prized underground fungi. Unlike other types of edible mushrooms, truffles grow underground. They are found near tree roots and form a symbiotic relationship with the tree. Truffles enjoy extremely particular growing conditions, preferring well-drained alkaline soil.
There are two main types of truffles: white truffle and black truffle. Black truffles are slightly more pungent and are cooked into dishes. White truffles are highly aromatic and most often shaved over pasta, risotto, and eggs.
Truffles are 90% water and have a short shelf life of three to five days as their water content evaporates. Since they are so rare and expensive, most home cooks opt to cook with truffle-infused olive oil, which infuses the truffle flavor without the high cost of fresh truffles.
Preserved truffles help to satisfy our yearlong yearning for this singular, garlicky, umami-like food. Our truffle olive oils extend the spirit and flavors of their ultra-rare fresh cousins in a more accessible fashion.
Marinated Mushrooms & Leeks with Truffle Balsamic
This recipe using our Truffle Infused Dark Balsamic (made with pasteurized truffle juice) is a fantastic addition to your holiday feast. We love this recipe as a mouthwatering side dish and a tantalizing appetizer - also excellent with EVOO toasted crostini and soft creamy brie.
Savory Mushroom & White Truffle Bread Pudding
A feast of fungi! This Savory Mushroom & White Truffle Bread Pudding recipe uses steeped, dried porcini mushrooms melded into a savory eggy base with mixed mushrooms studded throughout the pudding. Finish with White Truffle Oil drizzled to create a crispy, toasty crust.
Roasted Truffle Brussel Sprouts with Cider Pickled Shallots
This side dish is big on balance. The earthy truffle-roasted Brussels sprouts, savory and über umami, is paired with a tangy-tart pickled shallot (that also adds a little sweetness). Serve this recipe alongside a hearty main course like this Merlot & Porcini Sea Salt Brined Roast Beef.
Creamed Spinach with Crispy Mushrooms & Bacon
Seared bacon and oven-crisped mushrooms top this classic creamed spinach side. Along with the sautéed garlic & onions (all deglazed with white wine), fresh baby spinach, cream, and a touch of nutmeg, our White Truffle Sea Salt elevates this recipe with earthy elegance. Perfectly paired with beef roasts, pork roasts, or turkey roasts.
Cheesy Sweet Potato Gratin with Truffle Sea Salt
Have you tried our all-natural truffle salts? Seasons Black Truffle or White Truffle Salt combines the unique taste of truffles with pure sea salt crystals to create a delicious seasoning for just about any dish.
This Sweet Potato Gratin is greatly enhanced with the use of our Black Truffle Sea Salt. The earthy truffle pairs well with the sage & rosemary-scented creamy base, the gruyere cheese, the thinly sliced sweet potatoes, and our Savory Butter Olive Oil.
Merry Fungi! Give the Gift of Truffles this Holiday Season!
Can’t get enough of the rich taste of truffles? Keep this delicious trio on hand, so you’re always ready to add a touch of their decadent flavor and aroma to all of your favorite dishes.
This collection includes:
1 – 200 ml. Black Truffle Infused Olive Oil
1 – 200 ml. White Truffle Infused Olive Oil
1 – 200 ml. Truffle Infused Balsamic Vinegar
And 3 brand new truffle-themed recipes! Click here to shop!