Truffle Balsamic Vinaigrette

Truffle Balsamic Vinaigrette

Not everyone is a fan of truffle — it’s one of those love/hate flavors, where people seem to fall on one side of the fence or another. And I freaking love it. Truffle oil is just this magical extra oomph that takes something from normal to "oh this is amazing.”

Like many good things, the trick is not using too much. If you’re about to eat truffle oil by the spoonful you should buckle up — that would be a LOT in one bite! In this vinaigrette, truffle oil is combined with olive oil which makes a salad dressing with just the right amount of truffle.

In a rush, and throwing together a salad to take with me to work, I’ll often just drizzle some oil and vinegar over top of some veggies and call it good, but when I actually take the time to make a real vinaigrette it makes such a big difference (and, you can keep a jar of this dressing in the fridge for a week: time saver!).

But this vinaigrette isn’t just any old vinaigrette…yes, it has truffle oil, but there’s more! More, in the form of:

  • Dijon mustard. It adds a bit of creaminess and the flavor of mustard is nice and sharp, adding just a tiny bit of punch to the vinaigrette

  • Shallot. Like mustard, shallot just adds a bit of extra zing. Shallots are like onions but way more mellow, and won’t leave your mouth with that “I just ate a plate full of red onion” flavor

  • Salt & Pepper. Easy peasy — but does make a difference.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you could add a teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary, thyme, or basil. A dash of red pepper flakes is perfect for anyone that likes a little extra heat.

Truffle Balsamic Vinaigrette
Truffle Balsamic Vinaigrette

Like I said above, I like balsamic vinaigrettes (with or without truffle) on almost any salad, but here are five I recommend:

  1. Spinach salad with butternut & figs

  2. Late fall salad

  3. Arugula, peach and piquillo pepper salad

  4. Winter salad with kale apples

  5. And of course… a simple caprese salad, or like in the video below, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella over arugula. YUM!

If you don’t see the video player below, click here to watch, or scroll down for the full recipe.

Truffle Balsamic Vinaigrette

Published February 7, 2018 by
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Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 10 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons truffle oil (look for an olive oils infused with truffle)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Directions:

    1. Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to combine.
    2. Drizzle over salad of choice.
    3. Store in fridge for up to 1 week.

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    Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

    Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

    These sweet potato skins, stuffed with creamy sweet potato mash and cheese and bacon, were originally created as a hooray-it's-Friday, game-day, movie-watching snack, but I'll let you in on a secret: the leftovers make a damn delicious breakfast when reheated. But maybe that's just me. Either way, they DO make a fantastic over-the-top snack/appetizer/appetizer that you're calling dinner. 

    It starts with sweet potatoes (bake 'em up!). The soft, sweet flesh gets mashed with sour cream, which makes them ULTRA creamy and flavorful.

    Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins
    Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

    Toppings is where these sweet potato skins get their name -- and where it gets really delicious. First -- shredded Monterey Jack. Then, bacon pieces. I used Tender Belly Habanero Bacon which was SO good because it's just the right balance of sweet and spicy, but your favorite bacon will be perfect, no matter what it is. The potatoes go in the oven like that, just until the cheesy is extra gooey, and then get topped with fresh green onions (need a little bit of green in all of that orange! 😉), a dollop of fresh sour cream, a few slices of jalapeño (for extra zip!), and a dash of smoked paprika (which also adds nice color and flavor).

    All that's left to do is eat! 

    Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

    Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Skins

    Published January 22, 2019 by
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    Serves: 12   |    Active Time: 1 hour



    Ingredients:

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Several dashes of paprika, for garnish
  • Optional: 1 jalapeño, sliced for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prick each sweet potato with a fork, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft all the way through. Allow sweet potatoes to cook 10-15 minutes, or until they are cool enough for you to handle.
    2. Slice each sweet potato in half. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of each potato half and into a bowl without breaking the skin of the potato (tip: leave about 1/4 inch of flesh attached to the skin, it helps keep everything together!).
    3. Mash sweet potato flesh with 1/3 cup sour cream, salt, and pepper until everything is incorporated (a few lumps are OK).
    4. Scoop mashed sweet potato into potato skins. Top with cheese and bacon bits. Place back in oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and just starting to bubble. Remove from oven, and top with green onions, a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of paprika, and if using, a slice or two of fresh jalapeño.
    5. Serve hot.
    Reheating leftovers: Leftovers can be reheated in a microwave (1-2 minutes, depending on microwave), toaster oven or oven (350° for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through)

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    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    It is about 21°F this morning. The cold always me makes me crave crave warm, cozy dishes. This gruyère, roasted garlic and thyme dip  is just the thing to take to a New Years Eve cocktail party, or simply enjoy on the sofa after a long day, with your feet kicked up (build a fire in that fireplace, while you’re at it!).

    I went to a cocktail party this fall (potluck style), and there were at least three different spinach and artichoke dips! Tasting and comparing them all was fun, but really? Three versions? Seems everyone was on the same page that night. I LOVE spinach artichoke dip, and this dip hits the same craving but mixes it up a bit.

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip
    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    The first step in this recipe is to roast a whole head of garlic. Have you roasted garlic before? YUM. It becomes golden and soft and spreadable. I roasted an extra head of garlic while I was making the one for this dip just so we could have it. It makes the best garlic garlic bread or compound butter. You may as well make the most of having the oven on!

    Surprisingly, even with a whole head of garlic in this dip, it’s a subtle flavor — not a “I’m going to be breathing garlic for the rest of the night,” flavor. The gruyère and cream cheese soften it. Thyme adds an herbaceous note. The leftovers (if you have leftovers — in the realm of cheese that’s a rare story) do well as a sandwich spread or tucked inside of an omelette with sautéd mushrooms.

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip
    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    The new year is almost here! Wishing everyone a joyful 2019!

    Warm Gruyère, Roasted Garlic & Thyme Dip

    Published December 7, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 75 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 8 ounces sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces gruyère, finely grated, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley for garnish
  • For serving: crudités, crackers, crusty bread, etc.

  • Directions:

    1. First, roast the garlic: preheat oven to 350° F. Chop the very top off of the head of garlic. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive/avocado oil. Place in oven and roast 45 minutes, until cloves are golden and soft.
    2. Allow garlic to cool until you can easily touch it without burning your hands, about 15 minutes. Squeeze garlic cloves into a medium-sized mixing bowl, discarding of the garlic papers. Mash garlic.
    3. Add sour cream, cream cheese, 2 ounces gruyère, salt, black pepper, and thyme to bowl. Use a fork to mix until well combined.
    4. Spread cheese mixture in a ramekin or cocotte dish. Do not over fill—make sure there is at least 1/4-inch of extra room in the dish to avoid bubbling over. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons gruyère, and place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown in spots on the top.
    5. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before sprinkling with minced parsley and serving with crudités, crackers, or crusty bread.
    6. Leftovers? Eat them cold as a spread on toast, sandwiches, etc, or re-warm the dip in the microwave for 30-second intervals or in an oven until warmed through.

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