Desert truffles with roasted root vegetables

Found in the deserts of North Africa, terfez truffles are often used as a finishing touch in meat dishes. But they actually have enough flavour to carry a meal all by themselves, especially when complemented with fragrant herbs.

INGREDIENTS

For the vegetables

  • 6 medium sized terfez truffles (or large mushrooms)
  • 1 teaspoon of sage (fresh or dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme (fresh or dried)
  • Butter for frying (or oil for vegans)
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the sauce

  • 1 litre of terfez stock (see below, or use vegetable stock)
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup of red lentils
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Bunch of parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

METHOD

For the vegetables

  1. Give your terfez a good scrub and rinse to get rid of as much sand as possible.
  2. Then bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the terfez briefly, plunging them into the boiling water and then removing them. The water will retain some of the colour and flavour of the terfez. Strain and set aside for this recipe or freeze to use at a later date.
  3. Allow the terfess to dry and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes, dry them and cut them into thin wedges. Resist the temptation to peel the skins off, these will become deliciously crunchy when cooked in oil and they’re the most nutritious part of the potato.
  5. Wash and dry the carrots and cut them into halves.
  6. Mix the olive oil, paprika and salt and then rub the mixture over the potatoes and carrots.
  7. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake in the oven at 170 degrees C for around 30 – 40 minutes.
  8. Shortly before the potatoes and carrots are cooked, slice the terfess thinly and sautée them briefly with the sage, thyme and a pinch of salt in melted butter until they’re just golden around the edges.
  9. Arrange the potatoes, carrots in a dish and place the terfess in the middle.

For the sauce

  1. Finely chop the onion and cook over a low heat in olive oil until soft and translucent (without browning it).
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the hot terfez stock from earlier (or vegetable stock), then add the red lentils.
  4. Simmer until the onion is soft and the lentils have begun to dissolve. Then process with a hand blender to create a smooth gravy.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, add chopped parsley and pour over the vegetables.

When they’re in season, sweet potatoes are a fantastic addition to this dish. We just love how the terfess-flavoured sauce complements the caramelised sweet potatoes.