Making truffle salt is an excellent way to extend the enjoyment of a seasonal bounty. Truffle season is relatively short, going from late June to early September. They’re really at their best in the peak of winter, which is a few short weeks from late July to August. Making things like truffle salt and butter can help this wintery taste linger for many weeks and months.
WHAT ARE TRUFFLES?
Truffles are the fruiting body of fungi that grow underground in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of certain trees, like oak and hazelnut.
Truffle dogs and pigs, with their attuned sense of smell, can easily detect the scent of mature truffles. As a result, they’re very handy at harvest time and farmers use them to help unearth this prized winter delicacy.
TRUFFLE SALT INGREDIENTS
You’ll only need two ingredients and a little bit of patience to make this recipe. And as mentioned, given truffles are very much a seasonal food – you’ll only be able to make this in winter. However, the final result will ensure you enjoy the taste of truffle anytime.
- Sea salt flakes – best quality you can find. You don’t want that delicious truffle going to waste.
- Fresh black truffle – these are found at trufferies around Australia and are also stocked at many retail stores.
Truffle farms I know of in NSW are Tarago Truffles (where I buy mine each year), Ganymede Truffles, Borrodell Vineyard, and Tantalising Truffles. Retail stores include Gourmet Life and the popup store Madame Truffles. I’m sure there are many more too!
HOW TO MAKE TRUFFLE SALT
There are two simple methods. The first is simply putting a small piece of truffle into a jar of salt and letting the flavour infuse. The other is to grate truffle into the salt and this is my preferred method. Not only do you get the flavour and aroma of the truffle, you also get little flecks of it in your meal too.
- Finely grate the truffle into the flaked sea salt.
- Mix the truffle and salt – you’re looking for an even distribution.
- Spread the combined salt mix out on a silicone dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 38°C (100°F) overnight (or for 8 hours).
- Pour the finished salt into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep in a cool dark place. It will keep this way for 2-3 months. It can still be used after this though the pungency of the truffle will be greatly reduced.
Drying out the mix is necessary because the truffle is quite moist once grated. Don’t have a dehydrator? Give this recipe a go in the oven instead. Ensuring it stays on a low temperature is essential though. Anything over 40°C (104°F) could slightly cook the truffle and reduce its pungency.
If kept in an airtight jar, it can last up to three or four months. It of course doesn’t go off after that however, the pungency of the truffle is greatly reduced.
You can use truffle salt as you would a plain sea salt. But it makes an excellent addition to scrambled or poached eggs, added to pasta, sprinkled on popcorn, used in risotto or on a dish of polenta. Whatever takes your fancy.
Salty and earthy. Truffles have a very deep and rich earthy flavour, which is what gets infused into the salt.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- 1 Dehydrator (can also be done in an oven if it can be used at very low temperatures)
- 100 g sea salt flakes
- 10 g fresh black truffle
- Finely grate the truffle over the salt. I used a microplane to do this.
- Mix with a spoon to combine, and ensure the truffle is evenly distributed throughout the salt.
- Place the truffle salt on a silicone dehydrator sheet and spread it out so it's nice and flat.
- Dehydrate at 38°C (100°F) overnight (or for 8 hours).
- Store in an airtight glass jar in a cool dark place.