There is a combination of flavours I find tantalising – mushroom, white wine and tarragon. Mixed with a good helping of garlic and finished with some delicious dairy-free cream, it’s a decadent feast that takes moments to create.
Mushrooms seem to have become more interesting recently. It seemed the supermarkets only used to stock plain and simple white mushrooms. Then chestnut and portobello became more available. And now I’ve spotted shiitake, oyster and other exciting options on a regular basis.
I’ve been visiting the local fruit and vegetable market near my house in Portugal; there are some amazing locally grown mushrooms available like this huge bowl of shiitake I picked up the other day for under 4 euros! And low food miles too as it turns out the farmer lives 5 minutes away from my house!
I’ve also noticed articles about small businesses popping up growing different varieties of mushrooms using old coffee grounds and hay, creating indoor environments that resemble autumn all year round which is very interesting. Although, remember that if mushrooms haven’t grown outside, they won’t develop reasonable levels of vitamin D – which of course is the same for humans too 😉
You can rectify this though, by popping bought mushrooms on the kitchen window sill and leave them in direct sunlight. 20 minutes should be enough. A little magic from the mushrooms 🙂
I use home-made cashew cream for this mushroom sauce because I enjoy the extra creaminess from those blended nuts. However, if you’re really short of time, a bought carton of dairy-free cream works just as well. Just check there’s no ingredients you’re trying to avoid if you have intolerances or health issues.
The white wine and tarragon really make this sauce pop. Fresh tarragon is lovely of course, but not available all year round (and often flown from far away so do check the packet). I always have a jar of dried tarragon in my cupboard as I love it in vegetable soup too. If you can’t tolerate wine, don’t drink alcohol, or just don’t have any to hand, you can replace it with vegetable stock. You won’t get the same luxuriant flavour, but it’s still super tasty.
This sauce works well for pasta, as an accompaniment to bakes like this lentil and buckwheat bake, a topping for baked potato, roasted veg and many other options. And because it’s so rich and creamy, you can serve it to people who have doubts about the deliciousness of plant-based food to prove you’re not missing out on anything!
Creamy mushroom sauce
- 1/4 medium white onion OR 2 small shallots finely chopped
- 150 grams mixed mushrooms of choice rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic grated
- 125 ml dry white wine or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp dried tarragon OR 1 tbsp fresh when in season
- 200 ml cashew cream (see below for link to recipe) or bought dairy-free cream of choice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish optional
- Heat 2 tablespoons water in the base of a medium-sized saucepan or frying pan. Add the chopped onion or shallot and sauté on a medium heat for 5 minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and garlic and continue to sauté for a few more minutes until the mushrooms have wilted a little. Keep the heat low to medium so the garlic doesn't burn or stick to the pan.
- Once the mushrooms have softened, turn up the heat and pour in the white wine. Allow it to simmer for a minute or so.
- Turn the heat back down to medium and add the tarragon and cashew cream. Stir well to combine and allow the sauce to heat through. Do not boil or leave on the heat too long or it will become thick.
- Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley if desired.