Make Benoit's Seasonal Local Vegetable Cookpot with Fresh Black Truffle, Courtesy of Chef Philippe Bertineau

For those who bemoan the scarcity of fresh produce at the farmers' market during the bleak months of a New York winter, don't forget that in France black winter truffle season is in full swing. Benoit is offering the illustrious Périgord truffle at cost. It can be shaved atop any dish on the menu for an extra $9 a pop (a pop being about five grams). Chef Philippe Bertineau shares the recipe for his Seasonal Local Vegetable Cookpot, which lends itself quite well to a good truffle shaving.

"For the Cookpot at Benoit, we wanted to create a vegetarian dish using root vegetables -- our version includes parsnips, carrots, potatoes, sunchokes, rutabaga, celery root, butternut squash, and chestnuts, layered over a mushroom duxelles and finished with fresh black truffle," says Bertineau. "All of the vegetables are cooked together and served in the Cookpot, and it's a wonderful dish for the wintertime."

Benoit's Seasonal Local Vegetable Cookpot with Fresh Black Truffle

Yield: 4

Ingredients:

1/2 pound white mushrooms, diced 1 shallot, minced 2 tablespoon butter 1 bunch scallion, chopped on a bias 2 small carrots, cut on a bias 1 parsnip, sliced 1/4-inch thick 1/2 pound sunchokes, sliced 1/4-inch thick 1 small piece celery root, cut in a triangular shape, 1/4-inch thick 1 small Hokkaïdo squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick 1 Yukon gold potato, halved and then sliced 1/4-inch thick 1 small rutabaga, cut in triangular a shape, 1/4-inch thick 1/2 pound frozen chestnuts, already peeled 1 quart vegetable stock 1 fresh black truffle Fleur de sel and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

For the mushroom duxelles: In a sauté pan over high heat, sweat the shallot for 2 minutes with a little bit of butter, then add the diced mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes. Season to taste, and reserve.

For the vegetables: In a large sauté pan over low heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, then the vegetables, and sweat slowly without coloration for 5 minutes. Cover with vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Season to taste, and reserve both the cooking liquid and the vegetables separately.

For the Cookpot: In each Cookpot, place a thin layer of the mushroom duxelles, and over top arrange the rounds of vegetables on a diagonal, having them overlap harmoniously. Add two chestnuts per Cookpot. Fill each Cookpot halfway with the cooking liquid, and season to taste. Cover each Cookpot, and bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, and shave fresh black truffle over top at your discretion. Garnish with a bit of fleur de sel, and serve.

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