Cooking is a permanent quest for discovery. This is something I try to adhere to, which began for me in childhood and continues to the present day via my profession. For years, I wanted to create a signature dish, a symbolic, almost philosophical expression of my cooking, which tells the tale of my origins. This could only ever be a vegetable dish, containing my favorite vegetables, the ones so present in my cooking for more than twenty years. They provide the thread connecting my own life with the many diverse sensorial experiences found in my restaurants. This cookpot is not only a cooking story; it also illustrates the harmony between form and content.
Wash all the vegetables. Peel the carrot and cut in two lengthwise. Peel the beets, celeriac, and pumpkin. Cut off the root of the radish and scrub the radish under warm running water. Cut all the vegetables into thin 1 10-inch (2 mm) slices using a mandoline, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside*.
Cut the sliced carrot, beets, celeriac, and pumpkin into discs using a sharp round cutter.
Cut the vegetable discs in half.
Cut the black radish slices in half. Cover the sliced vegetables with a damp cloth and set aside.
Use the vegetable trimmings to prepare a bouillon.
Peel and finely dice the white onion.
Wash and slice the apple, pear, and fennel bulb. Crush the chestnuts with a fork.
Heat a large saucepan containing the olive oil over medium heat, then add the finely diced onion and sweat*.
If porcini mushrooms are unavailable, you can use chanterelle or Portobello mushrooms.
Add the apple, pear, and porcini brunoise to the saucepan. Cook the matignon for about 10 minutes over low heat until fairly dry. Adjust the seasoning and stir in the fennel seeds. Transfer the matignon to a baking sheet and cool to room temperature.
The fruit and vegetables used for the matignon are finely diced for even cooking.
Grate the porcini caps and sprinkle over the cookpot. Whisk the remaining fond blanc with 2 tablespoons (3 cl) of olive oil and the butter; serve separately.
The cookpot can be made in advance and served the following day; simply warm it briefly in the oven. The cookpot provides a full meal for one person or a vegetable accompaniment for two.
A dry white Loire wine, containing the chenin grape variety; a Vouvray would be a good accompaniment.
© 2014 All rights reserved. Published by Ducasse.