Wild Mushroom Risotto

Jean-Christophe Novelli takes the traditional risotto for a walk on the wild side with a rich sauce of mushrooms and tarragon
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Wild Mushroom Risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the risotto base

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots, or 1 onion, chopped
  • 250 g arborio risotto rice
  • 1 litres hot chicken stock
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar
  • 200 g unsalted butter

For the mushroom sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots, chopped
  • ½ onions, chopped
  • 250 g mixed field and wild mushrooms
  • 250 ml water
  • 15 basil
  • 30 tarragon leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 100 g parmesan, grated
  • parmesan shavings


1. To make the risotto base, heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and cook gently for 2-3 minutes without letting them colour. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with oil.

2. Pour in half the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the stock has been absorbed. Pour in the rest of the stock and repeat.

3. Pour the rice mixture into stainless steel tray, cover with cling film and set aside for about 15 minutes so that the grains fully absorb the liquid.

4. Meanwhile, make the mushroom sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the shallots and onion and cook gently for 2 minutes without letting them colour. Add the mushrooms and a little seasoning and cook gently for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add the water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and let the mushrooms steam for 1-2 minutes over a high heat.

6. Strain the mushroom mixture in a colander, reserving the liquid, and set the mushrooms aside.

7. Returned the strained juice to the saucepan. Add 10 of the basil leaves, 20 of the tarragon and 4 pieces of garlic. Bring to a boil and boil hard to reduce the mixture right down to a sauce consistency.

8. When the sauce has thickened, reduce the heat under the pan. Add the cream and stir to combine, letting the cream heat through (do not let the sauce boil again).

9. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the remaining basil, tarragon, garlic and the reserved mushrooms and mix well. Set aside.

10. Return the risotto base to its saucepan and place over a low heat to warm through. In a small saucepan heat the white wine and vinegar, whisk in the butter, then add this mixture to the rice.

11. Add the mushroom sauce to the risotto rice and fold in the grated parmesan. When the mixture is hot through, divide the risotto among serving plates and garnish with shavings of parmesan.

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