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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    Maple-Orange Sriracha Roasted Cashews

    Maple-Orange Sriracha Roasted Cashews

    “Snack break,” in this house, is the moment we are mid TV show and pause for everyone to go refill their plates (if we’re eating dinner), get something to drink, or get a—yes, you guessed it - snack.

    One of our snack break regulars is roasted nuts. We almost always have nuts in the pantry: Usually one those big tubs of roasted mixed nuts from Costco or Thai Chili Cashews from Trader Joe’s — we LOVE LOVE LOVE those. I once told a cashier there that I mostly go to Trader Joe’s just for those cashews. It’s a passion. 🤣

    What’s EVEN BETTER is home-roasted cashews. If you haven’t made my roasted maple chai-spiced cashews, put it on your list, now,  right after “Maple-Orange Sriracha Roasted Cashews.” Go on, write it down.

    They are crunchy. They are a little bit spicy (but not too spicy, just Sriracha-spicy). They are sweet, and with a little bit of orange zest, they are fresh. And complex. And just the best.

    Maple-Orange Sriracha Roasted Cashews
    Maple-Orange Sriracha Roasted Cashews

    I originally discovered them when I made this Asian Slaw in 2014 (oh how the blog …and my photography skills… have changed since then). The rest is history. Now, when I find myself at home with a bottle of sriracha, an orange, maple syrup and some cashews, this is what I do. I know that sounds like a rare aligning of the stars, but actually, it happens all the time. (In fact, I could make a fresh batch right now!)

    It’s about time I shared this snack with you, too!

    Maple-Orange Sriracha Roasted Cashews

    Published January 31, 2019 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole raw cashews

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prep a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    2. Whisk together the maple syrup, sriracha, orange zest, avocado oil, and salt in the bottom of a medium sized bowl. Place the cashews in the bowl, and toss until completely covered. Spread the coated cashews out on a baking sheet in a single layer. 
    3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning them with a spatula halfway through (10 minute mark). Allow cashews to cool.
    4. Great as a snack! Can also be served on this Asian Slaw.

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    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Happy holidays! Hoping everyone is having a beautiful day, where ever you are and whatever you are up to. We’re taking it easy, with no fancy plans, aside from maybe making a fresh batch of eggnog. I am so thankful to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year — time to slow down, get outside (fingers crossed for some warmer weather later this week! 🤞), and even some creative recipe development without the time constraints of the normal work week (been working on lots of videos! Check out this one for homemade loose leaf chai! Also still trying to use up all of the spaghetti squash harvest from the garden). And, eating these gluten-free chocolate pecan thumbprint cookies!

    These cookies.

    Just almond flour, honey, butter, salt and baking soda combine to make a surprisingly soft but sturdy and satisfying cookie, something I discovered when I made these Paleo chocolate vanilla pinwheel cookies two years ago (2016 seems like so long ago! We had just moved into our house, I remember rolling out the cookie dough next to the wall between our kitchen and dining table. Just a few weeks later, we removed the wall and the house looks about 1,000x better! But I digress...)

    Thumbprint cookies — a Swedish treat traditionally made with a raspberry filling - have always looked festive to me. When filled with raspberry jam, they gleam in the light like little gems. But raspberry is a very summery flavor, and my inner chocoholic screamed “ganache!!” and I gave in easily, filling each with a melted 85% Dark Chocolate Lindt Bar.

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    The result is similar to those chocolate kiss-topped peanut butter cookies we’ve all had at many a Christmas party, but with more delicate flavors. Toasted pecans with chocolate is an unparalleled combo in desserts in my book, one that fills your kitchen with the smells of caramelly nuts and fruity cacao scent.

    The cookie dough in this recipe is fairly flexible when it comes to flour. I tested using 1/2 cup gluten-free measure for measure flour (King Arthur flour) in place of 1/2 cup of almond flour and the result was almost the same as using all almond flour. That’s not to say I’ve tested everything! But I’m confident you’ll love these. The dough will crack a bit when you go to make the thumbprints, but that doesn’t impact the cookie much. We’re not going for perfect here — once you add the chocolate and the pecans, they’ll look (and be) absolutely delicious!

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

    Published December 25, 2018 by
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    Yield: 15   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or a chopped up dark chocolate bar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda and whisk briefly to combine.
    3. Add melted oil/butter, honey, and vanilla and stir dough with a spatula until a stiff dough forms.
    4. Shape cookies: scoop cookie dough by the tablespoonful into the palm of your hand. Shape into a sphere, and then place on a prepared cookie sheet. Using a smaller spoon or you thumb, make an indent in the center of the cookie. The dough may crack a bit around the edges, which is fine; if you like, you can carefully press it together with your fingers.
    5. Repeat step 4 until all of the dough is used. Leave at least 1/2 inch between each cookie on the baking sheet.
    6. Place cookies in oven on middle rack and bake for 10-13 minutes. Cookies should be golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
    7. While cookies cool, make the filling. Melt chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter/oil in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave by heating at 30-second intervals, stirring between each round, or in a double boiler.
    8. When cookies have cooled enough to be easily handled, carefully spoon chocolate into the center of each, and place a single pecan half in the center of each. Allow chocolate to set for 10-15 minutes, and then serve or store in an air-tight contain for a week.

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