A Taste for Tarragon: Mushrooms Stuffed with Tarragon Duxelles

Serves 6 to 8

Duxelles sound so French and fancy, but they are actually sautéed mushroom stems. Whatever you call them, they are simple to prepare and good to eat. Tarragon lends a bright pepperiness to the mushrooms’ solid earthy flavor. Choose large-stemmed mushrooms for this dish; brown mushrooms have the richest flavor. Whether I make the shrimp or cheese version depends on what else I’m serving.

  • 24 medium to large brown or white ­mushrooms, about 1½ pounds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup cooked bay shrimp, finely chopped, or 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Wash the mushrooms. Remove the stems and set aside. Melt half of the butter in a frying pan large enough to hold the mushroom caps or cook the caps in batches, dividing the butter as necessary. Sauté the caps, hollow side up first, for 2 minutes, then flip them and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. As the caps begin to give up their juice, remove them to a platter.
  2. Trim and mince the mushroom stems. Mix them with the shallot, green onions, and tarragon, and sauté them over medium-high heat in the remaining butter until the juices have almost evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. Mix the bread crumbs and the shrimp or cheese with the minced mushrooms.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Fill the caps with the stuffing mixture. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and hot. Serve hot or warm.

Carolyn Dille is replanting much of her herb ­garden for the sheer dirt-under-the-fingernails pleasure of it. Culinary and medicinal herbs have been her special interest for many years. Her ­latest books are The Onion Book, with Susan Belsinger (Interweave Press, 1996), and Seasons of the Vineyard, with Robert and Margrit ­Mondavi (Simon and Schuster, 1996).

Click here for more tarragon recipes from the original article, A Taste for Tarragon.

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