Mushroom risotto with tarragon cream sauce

mushroom-tarragon-risottoAs previously mentioned and evidenced by the number of recent risotto postings, I am a bit obsessed with risotto. Even though I made it just last weekend, I tried a new recipe last night. With the dramatic dip in temperatures, I was craving some comfort food and this fit the bill perfectly.

I borrowed the recipe for cream sauce from Real Simple, adapting it to not use the onions, but this sauce is AMAZING and light and would go well over many types of vegetables or fish.

Both the sauce and risotto require approximately the same cooking times, the sauce needing slightly more. So as you’re setting this up, start with the sauce, and once you’re ten minutes in or so, start the risotto and both should be ready at the same time.

Trick of the trade: warm your serving plates in a 200 degree oven to prevent the sauce and risotto from seizing up. This will help maintain that beautiful, creamy texture.




  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 6 cups broth of choice (I used vegetable)
  • 1 lb fresh mushrooms of choice, diced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper

Tarragon cream sauce (Adapted from Real Simple)

  • 1/2 bottle (1 1/2 cups) white wine
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus 1/2 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Risotto instructions

  • Warm the broth in a sauce pan under low flame
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large saute pan
  • Add the shallots and let cook 2-3 minutes until soft
  • Add the risotto and stir to coat the rice
  • Deglaze the pan with the wine
  • When the wine is fully absorbed, add ½ – ¾ cup of broth to the rice, letting it fully absorb before adding more. For best flavor, add a pinch or two of salt after each addition of broth
  • Continue to stir the risotto while adding ½ cup of the broth at a time, adding more only when each portion is absorbed. Once 2 cups of the broth have been added, add the mushrooms.
  • When the risotto is done, turn off the heat, add the parmesan cheese and stir to combine
  • Prepare your plates by heating them in a warm oven at 200 degrees. This will help prevent the sauce and risotto from seizing up. Spread the tarragon sauce on the plate and serve the risotto on top of the sauce. Garnish with a sprig of tarragon, if desired.

Tarragon cream sauce instructions

  • In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the wine, onion, pepper, and whole tarragon sprigs to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is reduced by two-thirds, 20 to 25 minutes, depending on size of pan.
  • Remove and discard the tarragon sprigs. Add the cream, reduce heat, and simmer gently until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Strain the sauce through a mesh sieve into a small sauce pan, reserving the onions for a later use. Put the sauce back on a low-medium heat, add the salt and chopped pieces of tarragon. Cook an additional 2-4 minutes.

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