Other than a kiss from my sweet husband, there are very few things on this earth that can make me swoon than the taste of truffles. They are earthy, deep, and reach into the bottom of my soul. Truffles go with so many things—eggs, pasta, sauces. You can dab them behind your ears (just kidding). A great source for truffles, truffle related products and recipes is La Buona Tavola in Seattle’s Pike Place Market (www.trufflecafe.com).
Last week, my sister Mary sent me a recipe for a truffle bruschetta from Rick Bakas’ excellent blog, which I promptly tried. The recipe was a great inspiration, but I think I have improved on it.
Rita’s Riff on Bruschetta with Poached Egg, Asparagus, Gremolata, Arugula & Truffle Oil
First, prepare the following:
- A bit of vinaigrette made with really good balsamic, olive oil, stone-ground mustard and herbs de provence.
- Cooked sprigs of asparagus about 3 per serving (if you have a grill going, throw them on for a bit), tossed with some of the vinaigrette
- Arugula tossed with some of the vinaigrette
- Slices of prosciutto or sopresatta
- A baguette sliced about an inch thick at an angle, brushed with olive oil and fried or grilled on both sides.
- Jumbo eggs or duck eggs, ready to be poached
- Shaved parmesan
- Fresh thyme and pepper
- Truffle salt and truffle oil
Just as you start to poach your eggs, toss arugula with vinaigrette, put onto small plates. Put the grilled bread on top of that. Put the prosciutto on top of that. Put the asparagus on top of that. By now your eggs should be poached. Gently place an egg on top of the bruschetta. Season with the truffle salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Drizzle truffle oil over that. Prepare to swoon.
When I made the bruschetta this weekend, I served it as an appetizer to a roasted chicken and French white beans. But this would also make a nice breakfast, perhaps with a French apple tart.
As for poaching
Some of you may be intimidated by the prospect of poaching an egg. Here is a fool proof method that you can mostly do ahead of time.
Prepare as many plastic wrap squares and custard cups as you have eggs. Place one in a custard cup and spray with oil. Plop the egg in and lightly season. Gather up ends of the plastic wrap and tie it with a little string. When you are ready to cook, just simmer some water in a shallow pan, take those little buggers out of their custard cup holders and plop them into the water. Simmer until the white looks reasonably cooked and the yolk is still runny.
One of the few jokes I can remember….
Q: Why do the French eat only one egg for breakfast?
A: Because one is un oeuf!