Wow, was I excited when I walked into Cavalli Caffe for an espresso macchiato on a recent Saturday morning. Piero, the truffle guy from Tuscany, was there and he had truffles, the “Diamonds of the Kitchen”, dug up in Tuscany just 2 days before.
He had white truffles, smaller in early spring , called “bianchetto.” And he had the last of the larger black winter “tartuffo nero.” Later in the season the spring truffles, tartuffo bianco, will be bigger.
Truffles are fragile and you need to use them within about a week of harvest. White truffles should not be cooked but black truffles can be used in cooked dishes.
Black truffles pair well with eggs so I had to make a frittata. Piero said his wife made the best. Now I’m in trouble. How could mine compare?
Piero described his wife’s frittata and I realized her Tuscan rendition was similar to mine. I made a few adjustments and I was ready for the kitchen.
I didn’t want the egg mixture to overwhelm the black truffles so I just added salt, pepper, chopped parsley, grated parmigiano reggiano and diced fresh mozzarella. I grated a large black truffle into the mixture. Save some to grate atop the hot frittata hot out of the pan to maximize the tartuffi aroma.
Lucky for me, Piero enjoyed my frittata. Whew!
The frittata didn’t last long.
If you are in the Bay Area, Santo will post the availability of truffles all season. You can find fresh truffles for sale online. If you don’t use them all right away, make a truffle butter or truffle-infused extra virgin olive oil so you enjoy their aroma and flavor for months.
Frittata with Fresh Black Truffles
- 6 extra large eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (depending on the size of your pan you may need to add more to lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan)
- 2 tablespoons flat Italian parsley, roughly chopped.
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
- 3-ounces fresh mozzarella, diced in small cubes
- 30 grams fresh black truffle (or as much as you can afford)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- Beat the eggs in a bowl.
- Grate 2/3 of the truffle saving a piece to grate atop of the frittata
- Add the parsley, parmigiano, mozzarella and 2/3 of the grated truffle to the eggs and mix well.
- Over medium-high heat add the olive oil to a 9” inch cast iron or sauté pan and lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan (if you use more eggs, use a larger pan)
- When the olive oil begins to shimmer pour in the egg mixture.
- As the frittata begins to set up, gently break up the center of the frittata with a fork and with a spatula move the frittata away from the sides of the pan. (You want to continually move the egg mixture to the hot pan surface to cook.)
- Lower the heat to medium-low.
- Continue to gently pull the frittata away from the side of the pan to allow the egg mixture to flow onto the hot pan surface.
- Gently move the spatula under the frittata to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
- When the frittata is fully set on the bottom, put a plate on top of the pan, flip the frittata and slide it back in the pan to cook the other side.
- Loosen the frittata from the pan with the spatula.
- When the frittata feels solid to the touch, flip the frittata onto a serving platter. (If you don’t want to flip the frittata, place it in a 375 degree oven or under the broiler to set the other side of the frittata.)
- Grate the remainder of the black truffle on top of the frittata.
- Serve immediately.