T Truffle Vinaigrette

Chef Vitaly Paley from Paley's Place in Portland, Oregon (see Appendix A), uses truffles in this vinaigrette to create a truly luxurious, distinct flavor. Truffles are similar to mushrooms in that they're actually a fungus — but don't let that fool you; they're simply wonderful. You can find truffles at most fine food stores — they're worth searching for. You can drizzle this vinaigrette atop steamed vegetables or mixed greens. It contains no cholesterol and only a trace of saturated fat — olive oil is one of those heart-healthy sources of monounsaturated fat and can be beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Yield: 18 to 20 servings (2 tablespoons per serving)

1 to i ounces truffles, cleaned and finely chopped

1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped 3 to 4 thyme sprigs, picked and chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together well, or combine all the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously.

Per serving (2 tablespoons): Kcalories 105 (From Fat 99); Fat 11g (Saturated ig); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 31mg; Carbohydrate ig (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 0g.

Often, a simple dressing is best. Steeping herbs, garlic, and dried mushrooms in oil gives you an excellent base to make your own tasty dressings. Add a little acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, and you're on your way.

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