In restaurants around the world, Italian food is forced into the menu straightjacket of Starter, Main Course, and Dessert, a holy trinity that doesn’t exist in Italy. The result is that dishes are found on the wrong part of the menu, leading the diner to fundamentally misunderstand how Italian food is, and is meant to be eaten, as well as missing out on the much vaunted benefits of an Italian diet.
It’s black summer truffle season here in the Tuscan Valtiberina and these alternative fruits of the forest are everywhere. Less pungent than in some other areas of Italy they are often served grated over pasta or grilled meat in abundance. There’s one restaurant in the village where the set menu looks like its own truffle festival with the antipasti, primi, and secondi all featuring this local treasure. I’ve yet to discover a dessert using black truffle—chocolate truffle is, of course, something quite different—but watch this space.
This recipe is from Tuscany.
Crostini are an important part of Tuscan cuisine and feature as the antipasto on high days and holidays. They consist of small pieces of lightly toasted bread topped with a variety of ingredients. Last summer I did a post about the traditional toppings which you can read here, however you can really put what you want on top as things come in and go out of season.