This recipe is adapted from John Ash's Cooking One-on-One: Lessons from a Master Teacher (Clarkson Potter, 2004). Any flavorful cultivated mushroom such as Shiitake, Oyster, Hen of the Woods, Portabella and the like could be used. Mushrooms can also be broiled. For the dressing the chef suggests toasted hazelnut oil, though any fragrant, toasted nut oil such as walnut, almond or pecan could be substituted. You can use any soft ripening cheese you like, but we suggest Redwood Hill Farm's Bucheret. Good cheese shops may carry it, or you can order directly at 707.823.8299 or www.redwoodhill.com.
Wine recommendation: This dish is so complex, it will stand up to a variety of wines. Put out a dry, earthy Pinot Noir, a crisp Fumé Blanc, a brut-style sparkling wine, and a rich, cool-climate Syrah, and let your guests find their favorites.