Good Question: How to Use Truffle Oil

Here is a question from the department of great holiday food gifts - in this case, truffle oil. Did you get any food gifts that pleased yet puzzled you? If so, tell us! Someone here can help you out.

For now, help MV with his white truffle oil...

Someone gave me white truffle oil.

How should I use it?

Thanks,
MV

First off, you should know a little something about truffle oil. 99.9% of the time, (maybe 100%, actually) truffle oils are created in a laboratory with a synthetic compound that mimics the very distinctive smell and flavor of truffles. Read the NY Times article from last May for more details on the secrets of truffle oil: Hocus-Pocus, and a Beaker of Truffles.

They were flooded with emails from disappointed readers, and they responded in this blog entry: Diner's Journal: Luxury on the Cheap. Frank Bruni reminds readers that truffle essence is very difficult to capture in an oil, so even "fake" truffle flavor in an oil has its uses. It's great on popcorn, he writes, and on scrambled eggs. Just don't use it to excess.

That would form the core of our recommendation too: truffle oil is too assertive to be used in great quantities. Use very sparingly in salad dressings, tasting carefully along the way. It adds a rich, elusive note to these dressings. For a special dinner, try Seared Scallop Salad With Haricots Verts And Truffle Oil.

It's also wonderful on potatoes: try Elise's simple yet scrumptious Roasted New Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Truffle Oil.

The most classic way, perhaps, to use truffle oil is on eggs. Truffled eggs on toast is a simple, decadent way to start the day. Simple drizzle a little oil - again, in moderation - into your scrambled eggs or over your omelette.

Do you use truffle oil? What's your favorite way to use this fancy little condiment?

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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