Mushrooms marinated with truffle

In the dark days of January the earthy appeal of mushrooms is undeniable. Mushrooms provide form, color and texture in the kitchen, supplying much-needed inspiration in the months of scant sunlight. When combined with aromatic herbs, mushrooms yield the most interesting compositions of the season.

The following recipe takes just a few minutes to prepare. However, the ingredients simply must marinate a day to achieve the perfect match between sautéed mushroom juices, truffle olive oil, fresh parsley and pine-like rosemary.

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Persimmon crostata

The persimmon is to winter what the peach is to summer. The bright orange “kaki” keeps company to the faithful apple in fruit bowl arrangements throughout the northern regions of Italy. Peeled and cut into wedges after many a lunch and dinner, they are symbolic of the Christmas season and the misty months that follow.

In this comfort inspired recipe, persimmons are stewed in freshly squeezed orange juice and subsequently wrapped in a crumbly pastry for a crostata tart. As the tart bakes the aroma of nutmeg, vanilla and star anise fill the kitchen like a warm pudding.

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A winter mash of rutabaga and potato

A simple supper can be created with two uncomplicated winter roots, the potato and rutabaga. As a child I found the aroma of rutabaga quite intense. All of my mother’s friends agreed however that her mash of the two vegetables was truly wonderful. Everyone took second helpings  at dinner parties. This recipe is a family classic and has always been a part of our holiday and wintery meals. I suggest adding it to your collection of comfort foods.

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