Special equipment: Sous-vide machine and vacuum sealer, optional
For the salsify puree: Combine the cream, wine, salt, pepper, salsify, onions and potatoes in a saucepot. Wrap the thyme tightly in cheesecloth and add. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced by one-third and the vegetables are tender, 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Carefully remove the thyme pouch and discard. Puree the mixture until smooth using an immersion blender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed.
For the escolar: Meanwhile, if using the sous vide, heat water to 140 degrees F. Drizzle each portion of fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top each piece with 3 to 4 fresh tarragon leaves and place the fish into individual bags and vacuum seal. Cook the escolar pouches for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the bags and pat dry. Saute the fish in olive oil over high heat just long enough to lightly brown the outside.
If not using the sous vide, saute the fish in some olive oil over medium heat, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
For the vegetables: Saute the blanched potatoes until golden brown in a separate pan. Add the tomatoes and fennel and continue to saute until the tomatoes are warmed through but not cooked.
To assemble, place a small pool of salsify puree in the center of a plate. Spoon a small pile of the vegetable mixture into the center of the puree. Rest the escolar atop the vegetables. Top with shaved truffles if available.
Recipe courtesy of Ken Hunsberger, The Maritana Grille, Loews Don Cesar Hotel, St. Pete Beach, FL