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OVOLI MUSHROOM AND TRUFFLE SALAD

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Insalata di ovoli e tartufi
Piedmont
Preparation - Easy
Serves 6

Ovoli (spectacular scarlet and orange mushrooms) are now fairly rare and hence highly prized, and white truffles are tubers that grow mainly in the Alba area between October and January. Dogs with a particularly keen sense of smell are specially trained to find the truffles. They grow beneath the roots ofchestnut trees, always in the same places - which the truffle gatherers never reveal to anyone else. The Piedmontese white truffle has a wonderfully distinctive scent that is much sought after. It is served sliced over pasta, rice, eggs or polenta.

Ovoli have an orangey-red cap, and are used for this recipe before the cap opens, when they have an oval form - hence the name.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 truffle (1 oz)6 ovoli or porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 white inner celery stalk
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
METHOD:
  1. BRUSH the truffle and wipe the mushrooms with a cloth to rid them of dirt, but do not wash them. Slice them very thinly and place in a salad bowl. Cut the celery into very fine julienne strips, eliminating any coarse strings, and scatter over the mushrooms and truffle. Using a vegetable peeler shave the Parmesan very thinly over the top of the other ingredients.
  2. IN a small bowl dissolve a pinch of salt with the lemon juice. Whisk in the oil with a fork and pour the dressing over the salad. Season with pepper and serve at once.

Adapted from:
Italy the Beautiful Cookbook
Lorenza De'Medici
Collins Publishers

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