Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Tarragon Creme

Season: Autumn

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

On my first visit to Milan I experienced their version of this Northern Italian classic and it was love at first bite. Risotto is best made with ingredients that are seasonal. Mushrooms are abundant in Autumn and there are many delicious varieties.

In this version Shiitake were the star.

Serves 8


1 1/2 cups arborio rice

5-6 cups vegetable broth (homemade is best)

1 cup portobello broth (optional)

(broth to equal 6 cups total)

1/2 cup creme fraiche

1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano (save sprinkling of cheese for serving)

1/2-3/4 lb. shiitake mushrooms

1 yellow onion (chopped fine)

3 tbsp. sweet butter

2 tbsp. good olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

1/4-1/2 cup fresh tarragon

1/2 tsp. salt (salt to taste)

1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 clove garlic (minced)

1/4 tsp. lemon zest (optional)


For Mushrooms

Slice mushrooms into thin strips.


In medium saucepan over medium to low heat add 1 tbsp. butter and a little olive oil.


Add minced garlic and mushrooms. Saute’ for 3-5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Set aside and keep warm.


Heat oil and 2 tbsp. butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.

(About 5 minutes)


Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until chalky-looking and a white dot is visible in center of each grain.

(About 4-5 minutes)


Add wine and stir constantly until mostly absorbed. Add 1 cup broth and cook, stirring, until mostly absorbed.


Add 1/2 cup more broth and cook, stirring, until mostly absorbed.


Repeat, adding liquid in 1/2 cupfuls, until rice is tender yet still slightly firm to the bite.


This will take approximately 30 minutes.


Add shiitake mushrooms and fold into rice.


Remove from heat and add creme fraiche, pepper, tarragon, and parmigiano reggiano and fold gently until absorbed. Taste for salt. If using lemon zest, add at the end when risotto is plated.

©2018 by Laurie Richardone

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