Easy and delicious, truffle pairs beautifully with the creaminess of buffalo mozzarella, the subtle anise of caramelized fennel and the brighter anise of basil.
To shave the truffles, we recommend using Eugenio Brezzi Tartufi shaver. You can pick up one of these brilliant shavers from Madame Truffles in store or online.
The recipe for the carmelised fennel was inspired by Yotam Ottenlenghi’s ‘Caramelised fennel with goat’s curd’ recipe in his Plenty cookbook.
Serves 4 as an appetizer
30 g butter
3 small fennel bulbs
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
2 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp fennel seeds
Grated zest of ½ lemon
2 medium buffalo mozzarella
10g basil leaves
20g Australian black truffle, finely shaved
For caramelised fennel, prepare fennel bulbs by removing leafy fronds and setting aside. Cut off some of the root part of each fennel and remove any tough or brown outer layers. Ensure that enough root remains to keep each slice intact. Cut each bulb lengthways into 1 to 1.5cm thick slices.
Heat a large frying pan to high and add half of the butter and half of the oil. When the better begins to foam, lay half the fennel slices in pan so they lay flat. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Sear the fennel for 2 minutes or until golden (don’t turn the fennel over or move it around during this time). Turn slices over and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes, then lay on a plate. Add the remaining butter and oil to the frying pan and repeat process with the second half of the fennel.
Once all the fennel slices have been seared, add the sugar, fennel seeds and salt to the pan. Fry for 30 seconds, then return the slices to the pan and gently caramelize for 1 to 2 mins. Remove the slices from the pan and leave to cool on a plate. Scatter fennel with tender leaves of the fennel fronds and the lemon zest.
Slice the buffalo mozzarella into 1 cm slices and place on a plate. Cut baguette into eight 1 to 1.5cm slices on the diagonal and lightly toast.
Place two toasts on each plate. On each toast, place two slices of buffalo mozzarella, two slices of fennel and a few basil leaves. Thinly shave black truffle on the top of each toast, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Enjoy!