Archive for Recipes: Savory

Rosemary Truffle Popcorn

Decadence.

That’s what truffles mean to me.

Wait. Let’s get one thing straight, here. We’re talking about the fungus truffles, not the chocolate version, though, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t kick them out of bed for eating crackers, either.

Truffle is one of those flavors that really divides people; most folks I know either love it or hate it. It’s earthy, intense. It smells like bad socks, but in the best possible way. And they are very, very rare and expensive.

truffle popcorn

I’m unsure if the truffle’s hype is partly because of that…. because, as human beings, we tend to romanticise anything that is rare and expensive. Maybe.

Scientists have discovered that the truffle smell and taste comes from a molecule called androstenone (source: The Sporkful). Turns out this molecule is also found in human sweat and urine. I’ll not comment on that. You can read into it what you will.

However you slice it (very, very thin, in the case of truffles), truffles are sought-after and decadent.

It’s difficult to get truffles here in North America. You may pay through the nose for a few shavings over your pasta at a fine-dining restaurant, but for the rest of us, we get our fix through truffle-infused oils and salts.

I have a box of the Amola Truffle Salt I’ve been rationing out on my eggs, popcorn and pasta for the last year or two, but I recently also acquired a bottle of white truffle oil.

I was recently traveling in the Okanagan. Let’s just say with the book, teaching, The Wellness Show, etc, things have been a little stressful in my life. So I took a few days off for R&R. That involved lots of wine tasting, good food, and foodie adventures, including locally-made cheeses. And then we stumbled over this place in Pentiction called Olivia’s Oils and Vinegars.

olivia's oil and vinegar

Olivia’s is a bulk oil- and vinegar-store. There are a few of them in BC, all independently-owned (I’ve put together a list at the end of this post), and whenever I find one, I’m like a kid in a candy store. I go around and taste everything, try different combinations, and generally spend a lot of time and a lot of money.

One of the oils I came home with was the white truffle olive oil. White truffles, as it turns out, are even more rare than black truffles, and I know I probably shouldn’t waste this expensive product on something so plebeian as popcorn, but there’s a kind of poetry to it, y’know? Taking something so common and every-day, and dressing it up in finery.

Plus, y’know. Truffles.

So, here you go. A little something to fancy up your Friday night. Even if you eat it in your PJs while watching something trashy on Netflix. Everyday decadence.

Rosemary Truffle Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp butter, butter substitute or butter-flavored olive oil (Olivia’s sells that, too)
  • 2 tbsp truffle-infused olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp truffle salt
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, place the butter (whichever version you are using) and the truffle oil, as well as the sprig of rosemary. Heat gently, just until warmed, don’t allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary.
  2. Pop popcorn using whatever method you like. I like to do mine in a brown paper bag in the microwave.
  3. Pour popped popcorn into a large bowl and drizzle over the butter/truffle oil. Sprinkle with truffle salt, toss, and shove into your face in large handfuls.

Where to find Oil- and Vinegar- Dispensaries in BC

(please comment below any I’ve missed)

Vancouver: Vancouver Olive Oil Company, 2571 W Broadway

Victoria: Olive the Senses, 9–1701 Douglas St

Gibsons: Sunshine Coast Olive Oil Co, 305 – 287 Gower Point Rd.

Okanagan: Olivia’s Oils & Vinegars, Kelowna – Orchard Park Mall & Guisachan Village, Penticton – Riverside Drive

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Goat Cheese Toasts

Toasts! Toasts! Toasts!

Toast is very hot right now. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s hearkening back to comfort food… but comfort food with a grownup twist.

Goat Cheese Toasts

Now, when I say “toast,” I should be very clear–I’m not talking about the sad pieces of bread that you slather with jam or peanut butter in the mornings, and then eat in the car on your way to work.

Nope. I’m talking about something much fancier. Much more elevated.

There’s avocado toast, which has taken Instagram by storm. It has quickly become the most photographed, and the sexiest snack on the interwebs.

But it doesn’t have to stop there. Crostini and Bruschetta are neither new, nor are they boring. Pesto on toast? Oh yeah, sign me up.

I was inspired on the weekend to create some fancy toast after watching my friend Desiree’s show, The Urban Vegetarian, on Gusto TV. She did a thing with ricotta toast, and I didn’t have any ricotta, but I did have chevre, and that got me to thinking….

This is less of a recipe and more of a guideline. The key to good toasts is good, fresh ingredients, and a nice mix of colours and textures.

chevre toast

Goat Cheese Toasts

Ingredients

  • a nice baguette
  • chevre
  • cherry tomatoes or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • roasted garlic
  • good quality olive oil
  • balsamic reduction
  • fresh herbs like italian parsley, thyme, or basil

Method

  1. Toss the cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a small pan in a hot oven (400 degrees) for about 10-15 minutes, until blistered and soft. Allow to cool slightly. Alternatively, you can use sundried tomatoes packed in oil instead of roasting the tomatoes.
  2. Slice the bread on the diagonal and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. You want them to be lightly toasted, but not too crispy.
  3. Remove from the oven and place 2 cloves or roasted garlic on each toast. Mush the garlic in and spread it around. Next, top with a wodge of chevre, and spread it out all over the toast. Top with 2-3 roasted cherry tomatoes.
  4. Drizzle the toasts with balsamic reduction, a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with chopped fresh herbs and serve.

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