From Cassidee Dabney, Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee
For the mushroom puree:
2½ ounces shallot, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
5 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 cup mushroom both
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon black truffle oil or porcini oil
For the roasted golden beets:
2-3 large golden beets, scrubed
6 sprigs fresh thyme
For the maitake mushrooms:
7 ounces maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms
¼ teaspoon pine bud syrup or an aged finishing vinegar (Dabney uses Saba)
4-5 thin slices black truffle
2-3 petite watercress pieces
Make the mushroom puree: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, gently heat the sliced shallot and garlic in grapeseed oil. When the shallots begin to caramelize, add the sliced mushrooms and thyme sprigs.
2. Continue to sauté the mushrooms for 5 to 6 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 4 teaspoons kosher salt and continue to cook the mushrooms until they are golden brown. Add mushroom broth and reduce heat. Simmer gently until liquid is reduced by half. Remove thyme sprigs and transfer mushrooms and liquid to a blender.
3. Add sherry vinegar to blender and process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in black truffle oil. Adjust seasoning to taste. Reserve in a small pot and keep warm.
4. Make the roasted golden beets: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice unpeeled beets into ½-inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with grapeseed oil and season with kosher salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from oven.
5. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Flip each beet slice, top each with a small pat of butter, and spread thyme sprigs over beets. Continue roasting until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes more.
6. Make the roasted mushrooms: Cut off the bottom half inch of maitake mushroom cluster; gently separate into smaller florets. Toss with grapeseed oil and kosher salt and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.
7. To assemble: Line a platter with roasted beet slices. Spoon a dollop of warm mushroom puree on the center of each beet. Top with roasted maitake mushrooms, and drizzle with pine bud syrup or vinegar. Garnish with freshly sliced black truffle and petite watercress leaves.