What to Eat in France: Salade de Truffes, or Truffle Salad
The Périgord is truffle country: these large black truffles that grow underground next to oak trees and sometimes hazelnut trees are highly prized. Today, three-quarters of them come from the Var, Drôme and Vaucluse. They are harvested in autumn and winter, but the best ones are found in January.
They are often eaten raw, but can just as easily be cooked.
- Peel truffles.
- Bring white wine, salt and pepper to a low boil and simmer truffles for 10 minutes.
- Drain and slice.
- Place truffles in a salad bowl. Add walnut oil, diced shallots and a trickle of wine vinegar. Mix carefully so that truffles don’t break apart.
- Cook soft-boiled eggs. Peel and slice.
- In another salad bowl, season sliced eggs with salt, pepper, walnut oil and verjuice. Mix carefully.
- Pour eggs into truffles. Add a few pickled nasturtium pods and some chopped chervil.
- Mix carefully and serve either one its own or over toast.
Note: The eggs can be replaced with artichoke bottoms or boiled potatoes. One should avoid adding aromatic herbs and spices so as not to interfere with the deep flavor of the truffles. Capers may be substituted for the nasturtium pods. If you like your eggs runny, place them directly onto the toast and pour dressing and truffles over them.