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Truffled Gruyere Risotto

I know it’s past the deadline for Hey Hey It’s Donna Hay Day #8: Tempo di Risotto, run by Cenzina at il cavoletto di bruxelles, but nonetheless, this risotto was so tasty and such fun to make.

Truffle salt is my latest discovery.

Truffle salt is just a blend of ground dried truffles and sea salt, but it is like magic. You sprinkle it on food, and it makes things more delicious. Yes, it is as simple as that.

That is exactly why Dave thinks of it as cheating. It’s sort of like MSG, which adds umami to food, making it more delicious. The primary Japanese brand name for MSG, Ajinomoto, means “essence of taste.” He’s right; it does seem wrong to use white powder (or even truffle salt) as the essence of taste instead of crafting disparate ingredients together into a complex masterpiece. Of course, I do it anyway, because it’s just that good.

Dave thinks that adding a magic seasoning is cheating, because it is harder and somehow better to build flavor without having to rely on something as versatile and dramatically effective as truffle salt.

Still, you’ll note that he does not feel the same way about salt.

Truffled Gruyere Risotto
2 1/2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped finely
2 large shallots, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 C arborio rice
A splash of white wine
Approximately 4 C beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C grated gruyere
1-2 pinches truffle salt

Set the stock to simmer and keep it there.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan, and brown the onions in it. It helps to cover the pan and sweat the onions over medium-low heat for a bit first, so they end up meltingly tender. The remove the cover, raise the heat, and stir them occasionally as they brown. Once they reach a color you like, add another 1 tbsp butter and, after it melts, the shallots and garlic. Saute those a bit, then add the rice. Stir the rice so that each grain is covered in butter. Add just a splash of white wine, and stir until it is absorbed by the rice.

Add the simmering stock one ladleful at a time, stirring until the stock is absorbed each time before adding more. I happen to like my risotto so soft that the grains are barely distinguishable as discrete entities; if you like it more al dente, you will end up using less stock than I do.

When the rice has reached the texture you want, add the gruyere and stir it in as it melts. Remove the risotto from the heat and add one last 1/2 tbsp butter, then sprinkle on a pinch or two of truffle salt, and stir it all in.

Note: I like to add salt and black pepper repeatedly during the course of cooking, in small quantities each time. I find that that technique helps ensure that I add precisely the amount that I want, because I can adjust it very precisely as I taste the dish during each stage of cooking.

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16 Responses to “Truffled Gruyere Risotto”

  1. Honeybee says:

    Wow, that sounds fantastic! I know what I’ll be having tonight! I don’t have any truffle salt but I’ll add just a drop of my very powerful truffle oil. Thank you for sharing that recipe!

  2. lisa says:

    This looks and sounds fabulous. Question though – where do I find truffle salt? Penzey’s?

  3. Danielle says:

    Honeybee – What brand is your truffle oil? I like truffle oil, but mine is very bland compared to the truffle salt.

    lisa – I bought mine at Kalustyan’s. It’s $20 for a tiny jar, but you end up using so little each time that it lasts forever and is entirely worth the price.

  4. Brilynn says:

    I need to get my hands on some of this magical stuff.

  5. Yvo says:

    OMG, that sounds so fantastic. I am craving risotto now :)

  6. ann says:

    this stuff, i discovered one drunken evening, is also money on store-bough popcorn.
    it feels kinda sinful, and decadent, but tastes so good, it’s hard to care!

  7. I’ve used truffle oil but never truffle salt–sounds like it’s more potent. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Christine says:

    Truffle and gruyere in a risotto?! I’m all over it! I’ve never heard of truffle salt and doubt I can find any here so I’ll have to try this with truffle oil. Thank you! :)

  9. kathryn says:

    Hmm, truffle salt is sounding good – lovely risotto Dannielle. It may be cheating, but really if it tastes that good – why make things more difficult for yourself . . .

  10. joey says:

    I am going to hunt down truffle salt…sounds incredible! Your risotto looks perfect :)

  11. Julie says:

    Truffle salt is amazing. Sam of the blog Becks ‘n’ Posh turned me on to it at the Ferry Plaza Market this summer. Then — oh joy! I found it at Fairway. I haven’t done much beyond put tiny pinches on eggs, but this risotto sounds delectable — and I love Ann’s idea of using it on popcorn. I feel a trufffle-salted pasta may lurk somewhere in my future…

  12. Danielle says:

    Truffle salted popcorn, truffle salted pasta, truffle salted eggs… you guys are brilliant. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. [...] your fava beans in ramp butter, with some freshly ground black pepper, salt, and truffle salt to taste. When they are soft and creamy, stir in some sweet cherries, which you have previously [...]

  14. Truffle Salt says:

    That looks absolutely delicious with gruyere.

    For those thinking about truffle oil, I suggest you steer clear and stick with truffle salt– most truffle oil is synthetic. (wikipedia it if you don’t believe me!)

  15. [...] is taken with salt: her true love? Truffle Salt. Danielle at Habeas Brulee put truffle salt into Truffle Gruyere Risotto. Doesn’t that sound [...]

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