Friday, March 4

Bresaola, Rucola, Miele e Tartufo

I found some Bresaola in the market yesterday and decided to make a salad for myself.  Bresaola is air-dried salted beef from Lombardy in Italy, usually dark red or purple in color.  It has a sharp and distinct taste, so when nestled in a bed of rucola (arugula) with it's natural radish-like and peppery flavors, a melodious affair begins.  Other components of this salad calls for the creamy and buttery texture of Bleu d'Auvergne cheese, ground almonds, the subtle and refined taste of ile de rhe rock salt, freshly ground long pepper known to be fiery and sweet (thanks to Tricia who gave me hand-carried ones from her recent trip to Florence), extra virgin olive oil, and copious amounts of miele e tartufo (truffle honey).  If you don't have long pepper, you can use black peppercorns.  

Please note that honey should not be given to children under the age of 2 years for the risk of botulism.  Click here if you'd like to know more about it.
I got this truffle honey from Santi's and carefully read the label first because for the price, I wanted to get my money's worth; and I did!  With generous slices of real truffles (how often does that happen?), an authentic taste was ever present with the sweet goodness of Italian honey.  It might also be good to note, that it's made in Umbria.  A few notes I learned from chefs which I'd like to share for newbie truffle lovers: 
  • the white variety is superior to the black one
  • consider Piedmont (up north) and Umbria (central) as truffle country in Italy
  • Italy is known for the best truffles in the world
  • female boar/sows are used to sniff/smell for truffles because it resembles the scent of a "wild" boar in heat 
I'm sure by now, you wouldn't be surprised to read that The Young Tongue wanted to try my salad too.  The arugula might be too much of a stretch for her and the honey a big no-no, so I made her try the Bresaola instead.  And the usual suspect just kept asking for more!