When in season, the self-appointed king of new potatoes should be scooped up absolutely fresh, papery skins almost detaching themselves and sweet flesh needing only a quick steam, a lick of butter and some seasoning. But we all get carried away and if you've bought a few too many, this is a lovely recipe for a bag that has been sitting about for a bit.
If you can find a fresh summer truffle, so much the better. If not, use a jar of the preserved kind which normally yields one decent-sized truffle or two small ones. A little pot of creamed truffle trimmings, usually sold in Italian delicatessens, is a very good option too and definitely worth squirrelling away in the store cupboard.
At the restaurant in the agriturismo of which Vina Laguna is just a small part, chef Robert Golic adds cuttlefish to the finished article but this works well as a luxurious base for grilled spring chicken or wild salmon, or even just as it is as a starter, served in ramekins.
- A medium-sized black summer truffle, fresh or from a jar, or a small jar of truffle 'cream'
- A dash of tartufo olive oil (ie scented with black truffle). Given the choice, go for 'intenso'.
- 10-12 Jersey Royals, or any young new potatoes, peeled and diced
- A generous knob of butter
- A couple of tablespoons of thick cream
- Salt and pepper
Jersey Royals with a Summer Truffle
Cream prepared by Janet Wynne Evans
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt well.
If you're using a fresh truffle, clean it carefully with a brush or very slightly moistened kitchen paper. Don't immerse it in water. If using a jar, drain the truffles well and dry thoroughly.
Slice your truffles paper-thin. There's really no substitute for a proper truffle-slicer here but a cheese scraper might do it. A few crumbly bits will fall off. Guard these jealously.
Cook the potatoes until very soft, and about to disintegrate. Drain well in a colander and wait for the steam to die before pushing them through a potato ricer back into the pan, on a very low heat. If you don't have a ricer, return them to the pan and use an old-fashioned masher. Don't be tempted to use a whisk or food processor, which can make the texture gloopy.
Beat in the butter and if you are using a pot of creamed truffle, stir it in now, plus just enough cream to make a smooth thick, luxurious puree. Stir in the crumbled truffle trimmings and finish with a good lick of the truffle-scented oil. Taste and season well.
Divide the mixture between four warmed plates or ramekins. Top with the truffle slices and serve.
This Istrian recipe idea comes from Robert Golic the chef at Agrolaguna, producer of our Vina Laguna Malvazija, which is the perfect match. Alternatively, pick a herby Mediterranean-style white or juicy rosé if you prefer.