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Dairy-Free Wild Mushroom and Tarragon Risotto

Dairy-Free Wild Mushroom and Tarragon Risotto

This lightened-up version of the comforting Italian dish calls for wild mushrooms instead of heaps of cream, butter, and cheese. The mushrooms add a gourmet touch without extra weight for your holiday packing or your waistline. Whichever mushrooms and herbs you use, the trick to exceptional risotto is to stir slowly and continuously after each addition of broth, which helps release the starch and gives the dish its creamy nature, with or without cheese. Mushroom miscellany Look for dried chanterelles or morels, or blends that include more budget-friendly porcini or oyster mushrooms. Feel free to add fresh wild or cultivated mushrooms—even sliced button mushrooms are a toothsome treat, though fresh chanterelles would be wonderfully indulgent. Simply sauté them in olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and minced tarragon, cook gently for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender, and serve on top of risotto. Broth pointers  Homemade vegetable or chicken broth is best since the broth is one of the strongest flavours in this dish, but you can also use commercial vegetable broth or quality bouillon cubes or powder. The soaking liquid of the dried mushrooms is essentially a quick mushroom broth, which reduces the amount of additional broth required. And, if you want to travel extra light, use dried herbs instead of fresh. If the rice isn’t tender after 20 minutes, increase the heat slightly. If you’re running out of broth, the heat is too high. But don’t worry, you can add a little extra water or wine to stretch the remaining broth if needed.