Risotto with Fresh Chanterelle Mushrooms and Shaved Black Truffle

Thursday, October 15, 2009


After I attended BlogHer Food, I had an extra day in San Francisco to hang around and do some more sightseeing before my flight home.   The first place I hit was The Ferry Building Marketplace.  It isn’t a very large market, but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.

The San Francisco Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries that travel across the San Francisco Bay.   The present structure opened in 1898, replacing its wooden predecessor, and survived both the 1906 and the 1989 earthquakes.

On the grounds outside the building there was what appeared to be a farmer’s market/craft fair going on.  I wandered around a little, picked up a couple of t-shirts and moved on.  Inside the building was where the real action was!  There was a host of specialty and artisan food shops and restaurants.  I was in heaven!  It was a good thing I packed one of my big old Envirosax bags in my purse that morning!

I spent some time at Recchiuti Confectioners and stocked up on lots of fleur de sel caramels and pâtes de fruits. Then, I moved on to some macarons at Miette, and over to some “pig” at Boccalone Salumeria.  My bag was getting pretty full and I was winding up my excursion when I caught a glimpse of something that stopped me in my tracks.  It was bushels full of these…..



I was beside myself with glee!  I had heard much about them, and read much about them, but had never, ever seen them up close and personal before.  I immediately knew what I had to do – buy a bunch and take them home with me.  Hey, it was only 3000 miles to get home. I could do it.  And, I wasn’t about to let airport security get in my way!

Chanterelles are one of the most distinctively flavored kind of mushrooms in the world. They are described as having the fragrance of apricots and and a slightly peppery, almost floral flavor.  They are found in mixed woods, hiding under conifers and oaks.  Chanterelle mushrooms are prized by professional chefs, home cooks, and anyone who knows what they are.

As the clerk at Far West Fungi tallied up my purchases (which also included a bag of dried morels and some truffle salt), I saw something else that made me absolutely swoon!



This was too much!  I had only dreamed about cooking with fresh truffles before, and now, here was a whole basket of them sitting right in front of me.  I HAD to get one, so I sniffed out the most fragrant (and biggest) one I could find and bought it too.

The French black truffle is considered the finest of the edible fungi and has a place in gastronomy alongside saffron, caviar, foie gras and the finest of wines. Widely considered as the jewel of French cooking prized for its unique flavour and intoxicating aroma”  ~Brillat Savarin


A truffle is a highly fragrant tuber which many chefs and other gastronomes consider the king of all fungi. Edible truffles are held in very high esteem in international haute cuisine.  They grow randomly on the roots of truffle oaks.  Black truffles are highly aromatic, earthy and pungent.  They are predominantly harvested in France, however they are also  found in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.  I don’t know where my black truffle was born.  I was so excited to find it that I didn’t think to ask.


This is what a black truffle looks like on the inside.

I carefully kept my chanterelles and black truffle in an insulated bag with an ice pack during the rest of my stay in San Francisco. When it was time for me to get on the plane for Florida, I stuck the bag in my purse and prayed like mad that no one at the airport would take it away from me.   Just my luck, I got a nosy TSA officer.

Nosy TSA Officer: “What’s this in the bag?”

Me:  “Uh…It’s my lunch.”

Nosy TSA Officer:  “Lunch?  It looks like a bunch of mushrooms and a black rock!”

Me: (getting nervous) “A black rock!  Hehe!  That’s a good one! Hehe!  It’s actually a black truffle.”

Nosy TSA Officer:  “What the heck is a black truffle?”

ME: “It’s a a fungal fruiting body that develops underground and relies on mycophagy for spore dispersal.”

(Okay, I really didn’t say that. Just checking to see if you were paying attention! I told him it was a type of edible fungus.)

Nosy TSA Officer:  “You really gonna EAT that stuff?”

ME:  “Absolutely!” (As soon as I get all the way to Florida, dig out some great recipes and cook a fabulous meal!)

Nosy TSA Officer:  “Well…It’s your stomach.  But you have to leave the ice pack behind.”

Me:  “Okay…Great…Thanks!”

I threw down the ice pack, grabbed my loot and ran!



The whole way home (all 3000 miles) I imagined what I would do with that black truffle.  I already knew that the chanterelles were going to star in this creamy, cheesy risotto.  Of course, I would shave some of the truffle on top of it too.

I made my risotto the next evening for dinner.  What can I say other than it was wonderful?  The dish was a melding of magic with the delicate and fragrant mushrooms, creamy risotto, Parmesan and of course, the shaved truffle.  Oh, the truffle!   It was all I knew it would be.  Earthy and dusky with the most lovely, heady aroma.  I can’t even describe how elegantly it permeated the dish!   I’m verklempt just thinking about it!  Dear readers, if you can ever get your hands on one of those beauties, grab it.   I promise you’ll be happy you did!

So, what did I make with the rest of my black truffle?  Stay tuned and find out!

Risotto with Fresh Chanterelle Mushrooms and Shaved Black Truffle


6 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 ounce fresh black truffles, shaved


Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large, wide heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and thyme and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begin to brown.

Pour the wine into the pan, and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce heat and continue to simmer until the wine has reduced by half.  Add the cream and simmer until the cream is almost all absorbed.  Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt. Add shallots and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the rice and coat until the kernels are shiny, another 2-3 minutes.

Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it is almost completely absorbed.  Continue to add stock 1/2 cup at a time following the same procedure until all of the stock has been added and absorbed into the rice.  This should take about 20-25 minutes.  The rice should be creamy and and slightly chewy.

Stir the mushrooms back into the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the Parmesan cheese and top with parsley and shaved black truffle.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.


43 responses to Risotto with Fresh Chanterelle Mushrooms and Shaved Black Truffle

  1. On October 15, 2009 at 8:22pm, Jennifer said...

    WOW! What a beautiful dish! BRAVO!!!!!

  2. On October 15, 2009 at 8:40pm, Dawn@CocinaSavant said...

    This looks absolutely delicious! I only thought I was too full to eat anymore for dinner!!!

  3. On October 15, 2009 at 10:32pm, arugulove said...

    This looks amazing. I’m fortunate to work a hop, skip, and jump away from the Ferry Building, so I may be making a lunchtime splurge over there real soon to try this out.

  4. On October 15, 2009 at 11:24pm, nina said...

    I hear that they are harvesting truffles here in SA now. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those beauties. The chanterelle risotto is elegant, heartwarming and down right divine!!!

  5. On October 15, 2009 at 11:42pm, Rosa said...

    I’d love to have one of those (truffle) at home! Lucky you!

    Your risotto must taste heavenly and be very fragrant!



  6. On October 16, 2009 at 12:34am, laura said...

    You and TSA guys! man would you have thrown it out if they didn’t let you take it on the plane? Or checked it in? Well I’m glad you got home with it! Missed the ferry terminal building but I won’t in 3 weeks!! Can’t wait to go back I must escape!!

    • On October 16, 2009 at 8:05am, Susan said...

      Lol! I probably would have checked it in. I’m so jealous that you’re going back next month! I really wanted to go to the Foodbuzz thing, but I couldn’t swing both trips so close together. I wish all the conferences were spread out more during the year, so that more people could attend.

  7. On October 16, 2009 at 1:20am, Divina said...

    Wow, look at those chanterelles and truffles. I’ve never seen anything like that up close. And your risotto looks so good.

  8. On October 16, 2009 at 1:46am, Ivy said...

    Wow, black truffle!! I know that they cost a fortune but even for once we definitely should try them.

    • On October 16, 2009 at 8:07am, Susan said...

      It was pretty pricey, but I was able to use it in 3 different dishes, so it was worth it. :)

  9. On October 16, 2009 at 5:51am, Coleen said...

    Since you didn’t mention how much they cost, I’m assuming it was very pricey?

  10. On October 16, 2009 at 8:10am, Susan said...

    Thanks, everyone! I’m glad you all liked the risotto. As a few have commented, the truffle was pricey, but not astronomically so. I think I paid about $30 for it. However, I was able to use it in 3 separate dishes, so it wasn’t that bad. :)

  11. On October 16, 2009 at 8:29am, Ciaochowlinda said...

    I love the Ferry Bldg. farmer’s market held each Saturday. great place. That dish looks more than fantastic. Actually, $30 isn’t so bad for that truffle.

  12. On October 16, 2009 at 8:52am, vibi said...

    Wow… you dug a gold mine or adopted a truffle pig? lol
    I’d kill for some of that ….mmmmm… “can almost smell it through the screen” risotto!

  13. On October 16, 2009 at 12:11pm, Dolce said...

    OMG. Fresh. Truffle. Risotto. [seriously drooling]

  14. On October 16, 2009 at 2:17pm, Nina said...

    WOW!!!! Black truffles and chanterelles?! Gourmet magazine should have profiled you for it’s final issue!! Well done. Your risotto looks amazingly delicious and elegant. I know I can speak for everyone else when I say we secretly wish we could have been a guest at your house for dinner that night. :) Bravo!!

  15. On October 16, 2009 at 5:53pm, lisa said...

    Sounds like a fantastic meal. I adore mushrooms, but have never tried truffles, hopefully one day!

  16. On October 16, 2009 at 6:23pm, The Food Hunter said...

    WOW! It looks amazing.

  17. On October 17, 2009 at 10:25am, Bellini Valli said...

    Our local Otalian deli brings in whute and black truffles in season. Their smell permeates the tiny store….people are then oblivious to how much they are per gram.

  18. On October 17, 2009 at 12:27pm, Karen@Mignardise said...

    It’s probably a good thing the TSA guy didn’t know what it was. If he did know, and it was because he cooks, he’d have confiscated it in the name of national security. Then gone home and made risotto with black truffle.
    Your risotto looks gorgeous and creamy. Perfect for fall.

  19. On October 17, 2009 at 1:56pm, Kevin said...

    Great way to enjoy those mushrooms! I have been wanting to try truffle for a while now. Congrats on the find!

  20. On October 17, 2009 at 2:46pm, Faith Kramer said...

    Sorry we didn’t get to meet at BlogHer. The Ferry Plaza is a great resource. I’m planning a trip there right now so I can recreate your wonderful food. Luckily it’s just a BART ride away for me!

  21. On October 17, 2009 at 3:33pm, Erica said...

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the wonderful comment :) I love your blog!

  22. On October 17, 2009 at 7:39pm, Ronda said...

    This dish looks AMAZING!! I cannot wait to try it. I love mushrooms, and now on a quest to find black truffles.
    I also love the new look of your blog, soooo cute!
    Have a great Sunday!

  23. On October 17, 2009 at 11:38pm, Melanie said...

    My husband and I just went to The Capital Grille and I ordered mac & cheese with truffle oil & shaved black truffles on the top. Heavenly! The risotto looks great.

  24. On October 18, 2009 at 3:26am, Wendy said...

    Your risotto looks and sounds amazing!

  25. On October 18, 2009 at 12:36pm, Sunita said...

    Susan, the risotto looks stunning. And OMG, truffle!!!

  26. On October 18, 2009 at 12:45pm, The Italian Dish said...

    What a find! I’m glad you didn’t get your beautiful black truffle taken away!

  27. On October 18, 2009 at 8:41pm, ingrid said...

    Oh, my goodness! That looks beyond rich, creamy, and decadent!

    $30 doesn’t seem so bad when it’s spread over three meals.

  28. On October 18, 2009 at 11:15pm, maris said...

    LOL – the TSA guy probably spent the rest of the day telling his coworkers “I had this CRAZY woman who was going to eat fungus for lunch!” :) The risotto looks fantastic.

  29. On October 19, 2009 at 9:11am, Lori @ RecipeGirl said...

    That’s a pretty funny story. I can just imagine how the dude reacted to this ugly little unappetizing thing. I’ve never, ever tried truffles… so I cannot relate at all to the excitement over them, but I’ll take your word for it that’s they’re amazing! Must try!

  30. On October 19, 2009 at 10:54am, Joan Nova said...

    Susan, I loved this post…the story, the recipe, the photos and the idea it put in my head for my trip to SF for the FoodBuzz Festival in a couple of weeks.

  31. On October 19, 2009 at 1:33pm, Tracy Moulton said...

    Loved the truffle story. You should be a writer. I can hardly wait to hear what you did with the rest of the black truffle!

  32. On October 19, 2009 at 3:07pm, Eliana said...

    WOW – this is outstanding Susan. I literally want a big spoon right now to eat this right off the screen.

  33. On October 19, 2009 at 3:47pm, Nicole Spasiano said...

    I’m so surprised they let you through security with that. I’m so jealous- they always seem to pick me out to pat down or they find something me like a bag of open mints and they make me chuck it.

    I don’t have black truffles but I get black truffle butter that I have added to eggs and mac and cheese. I’m sure your truffle was to die for

  34. On October 20, 2009 at 6:38pm, AmyRuth said...

    I would love to try this. It looks so warm and delicious. You were able to travel with your goodies, that’s remarkable. Great job.

  35. On October 21, 2009 at 12:13pm, Carrie said...

    This looks amazing! I absolutely love truffles and risotto, what a perfect combination. I’ll be making this soon!

  36. On October 21, 2009 at 12:54pm, Peter said...

    Susan, with the use of these costly mushrooms…we’re talking Risotto for Royalty! When you making this again (so I can jet over there).

  37. On October 21, 2009 at 3:47pm, pigpigscorner said...

    Gorgeous! I just want to dig in!

  38. On October 21, 2009 at 6:28pm, Maryann said...

    I had a laugh when my husband had to throw his hair gel away but this is much better! And this dish is giving me goose bumps. Wow. Worth the hassle AB-SO-LUTE-LY!!!!

  39. On October 21, 2009 at 9:59pm, Liz - Meal Makeover Mom said...

    I’d love to try this recipe. I LOVE mushrooms. I may have to make it without the truffles … but I’m over that! Such a beautiful photo too.

  40. On October 22, 2009 at 8:17am, Amy J said...

    The Ferry Building was a little overwhelming for me. I was not prepared at all or I would’ve brought a bag along as well. The thought didn’t even cross my mind to try to get some mushrooms home – brilliant! Yummy looking recipe too. Can’t wait to try it (minus the truffle).

  41. On December 31, 2009 at 12:33pm, lisa- Truffles In my neck of the woods said...

    Hi I have a place down the road from me where those black and white truffles grow. I didn’t know what to cook with them so this was great idea. Thanks for the tip!

3 pings to Risotto with Fresh Chanterelle Mushrooms and Shaved Black Truffle

  1. On January 02, 2010 at 10:47am, Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » October 2009 Roundup pinged...

    […] Noodles and Vegetable Fried Rice from Slashfood, Jalapeno Cheddar Scones from Smitten Kitchen, Risotto with Fresh Chanterelle Mushroom and Shaved Black Truffle from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Bay & Onion Creamy Tomato […]

  2. On January 02, 2010 at 3:21pm, October 2009 Roundup « The Random Item pinged...

    […] Noodles and Vegetable Fried Rice from Slashfood, Jalapeno Cheddar Scones from Smitten Kitchen, Risotto with Fresh Chanterelle Mushroom and Shaved Black Truffle from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, Gorgonzola Filled Meatballs with Bay & Onion Creamy Tomato […]

  3. On October 25, 2011 at 7:47pm, Nutrish-ish: Off the wagon this week thanks to the Jack Webster Awards « Derek Bedry pinged...

    […] This risotto recipe looks so good it might actually piss you off. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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