Warm Romaine Salad with Goat Cheese and Truffle Oil

A couple weeks ago, I was at one of my favorite and strangely under-noticed restaurants (even though its Michelin rated….wierd). La Provence on Guerrero and 23rd has a veal carpaccio that’s served with shaved fennel, parmesan and truffle oil. It’s ridiculously amazing and as I was selfishly devouring it, I decided that I would start using more truffle in my own food. The only hesitation I have about it is that when I get truffles now, it’s novel and so exciting. If I can have it anytime I want will it lose its appeal? Will the excitement dwindle? Like a secret whirlwind romance, will it stop being hot afterr it’s available to me whenever I want?

After careful deliberation, I decided that – also like a secret whirlwind romance – I’m gonna take all I can get until I get sick of it and so I took myself a little trip down to the Ferry Building. Mmmmm Far West Fungi is so great. I perused the ridiculous selection of interesting mushrooms and based on some interesting recommendations, I decided on:

Lions Mane Mushrooms


some Sea BeansSeaBeans

a bit of Mezzo Secco from my favorite cheese monger, Cow Girl CreameryMezzoSeccoChz
The Mezzo Secco got along famously with the nuttiness of the truffle oil, but there seems to be a little bit of confusion over this cheese. I don’t know what the truth of the matter is, but the reviews and descriptions of Mezzo Secco that I have read say its rind is coated in black pepper, but Cow Girl told me it was cocoa (which I believe is true for this wheel). It must just be a variable.

Oh, and I got a bottle of black truffle oil, too. And here’s the first thing I made with it: WarmRomaineSalad.

Warm Romaine Salad w/ Goat Cheese and Truffle Oil

    1 head of romaine, chopped
    1/2 c. raw walnuts
    1/4 c. goat cheese. crumbled
    3t butter (or Earth Balance)
    1/2t. black truffle oil
    1t grated piloncillo sugar (or substitute brown sugar)
    1/2t fine sea salt

    pinch of Fume de Sel, (chardonnay smoked salt) (optional)

To toast the walnuts:

    1. Heat 2t butter in small saute pan
    2. When butter starts to brown, add walnuts and let them start to brown
    3. When they start to brown, add salt and slowly add sugar so that it doesn’t burn
    4. Toss often while in the pan
    5. Take off heat when well browned and aromatic

For the Salad:

    1. In a new saute pan, heat the last half t. of butter
    2. When it starts to brown, add chopped romaine
    3. Cook romaine just until starting to wilt and brown
    4. While still warm, toss with walnuts, goat cheese and truffle oil, top with sprinkle of Fume de Sel (or any coarse salt)
    5. Eat it!