Dungeness Crab and White Truffle Tartlets

(Makes 12 hors d’oeuvres. Recipe courtesy of Karl Zenk, Executive Chef, Marché Restaurant Group)

Oregon truffles have long been misunderstood, and hence, undervalued. But when unearthed at their peak of ripeness, I find them to be every bit as heady and beguiling as French Périgords and Italian Albas. Oregon white truffles pair exceptionally well with native PNW seafood. I found these flavors dazzling, and incomparably complementary, as if you couldn’t taste one without the other. I didn’t think anything could be more blissful than that bite of poached Coho salmon with white truffle crème fraîche (shown in the background of the photograph). Then I tried this diminutive but delightful Dungeness crab tartlet, and was instantly bewitched by its sumptuously divine flavors. After that bite, I knew I was forever to be an ardent admirer and staunch advocate of Oregon truffles.


Pastry Crust

8 ounces butter
13¼ ounces all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons salt
3¼ ounces cold water

Truffle Crab Salad

½ pound Dungeness crab meat
1 small stalk celery, small dice
One lemon, zested and juiced
½ clove garlic, grated on a microplane
1 fresh Oregon white truffle, grated on a microplane to taste, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
½ cup quality mayonnaise, preferably homemade
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, freshly ground, to taste


Pastry Crust 

(Note: if you are using barquette molds shorter than 4 inches and the pastry dough is rolled quite thin, you may be able to squeeze two-dozen hors d’oeuvres from this recipe.)

Cut the butter into the flour and salt using a food processor. Add cold water and quickly bring the dough together, being careful not to overmix. Let rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

Roll out the dough on a floured board to 1/8-inch thick (or even thinner). Cut the dough to fit a barquette mold and press into the molds. Place another mold on top of the dough and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until light golden in color.

Let the crust cool, then remove from the molds.

 Truffle Crab Salad

Gently mix the crab with the celery, lemon juice and zest, garlic, truffle, and chopped herbs. Add the mayonnaise a little at a time until you like the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon a dollop of the salad into the barquette tart shells and garnish with more freshly grated white truffle.