A while back I was contacted by a truffle hunter and soon to be author from Hungary wanting to know if I could contribute some recipes to a book on Honey Truffles (Mattirolomyces terfezioides). They offered to ship some to me direct from Hungary for the project, and being a fan both of truffles and new-to-me ingredients, I accepted.
Honey truffles are strange creatures though, they have a strong sweet taste, almost like saccharin, as well the typical truffle flavor, followed by a bready, cheesy note. It's an odd combination, and a lot more difficult to cook with than typical truffles.
With the sweet taste, but also strong mushroomy finish, I wanted something that would be savory, but a savory place where some sweetness would be welcome. Squash season is booming right now, and my favorite stall at the St. Paul Farmers Market is packed with heirloom squash, so I went and got a selection, and settled on Thelma Sanders Sweet potato Squash as the winner for the recipe.
The recipe is pretty simple: roast an acorn squash, then put a good tablespoon of cheesy chevre butter in the middle (the salty funk is good with the honey truffle, but just butter could work) drizzle with honey truffle-infused maple syrup, and garnish with a few cracked nuts and chives or some other herb. It's a pretty novel way to eat squash, and a great way to enjoy honey truffles if you find yourself with some.
Heirloom Acorn Squash with Truffled Maple Syrup and Chevre Butter
- 2 small acorn squash
- 4 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 oz fresh goat cheese at room temperature
- Two teaspoons cut chives
- A few freshly cracked butternuts or black walnuts
- Kosher salt to taste
- Truffled maple syrup for drizzling, as a garnish (see recipe)
- 10 grams Fresh honey truffles one small truffle, plus extra for shaving
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- Mash or puree the butter and goat cheese, then roll into a log using parchment paper, refrigerate and reserve.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and oil them lightly, then place cut side down in a pan and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced.
- The cut side should be lightly browned.
- Arrange half a small squash on each plate put a thick slice (½ oz) butter in the center, season lightly with salt, sprinkle with chives, a few slices of truffle and a drizzle of maple syrup. Scatter the nuts over the top and eat.