After my last mushroom post by old mate Ali got in touch

This with added cream and brandy and tarragon in the place of parsley is my go to starter for dinners. That and late suppers. Or any time

And he has a point, with a little love and calories, mushrooms are a much more luxury food. his words did put me in mind of to quotes, neither of which I’ve been able to source this evening.

Brandy, fit only for the nursery

The reason people came back from France in the 80s raving about the food was simple, they finished all the dishes with a slug of wine and some cream.

And excellent points they are both. I decided to combine the two. This time I cooked without butter because the cream is rich enough, but kept the lemon to lift it all. I added the green salad because lately I’ve really come to enjoy warm things over salad.

You will need

  • Good bread for toast, cut about an inch thick.
  • a teaspoon of olive oil
  • A small bunch of tarragon
  • A few good scrapes of lemon zest
  • About a teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Enough mushrooms to cover your toast twice
  • About a tablespoon of single cream, maybe a little more
  • A small glass of wine
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Stick the bread on to toast.
  2. Peel and slice the mushrooms about as thick as a pound coin
  3. Pile mushrooms into a cold frying pan with a little olive oil. Turn on a low heat and cover.
  4. Stir frequently and remove the lid once they are browned.
  5. Once you reach the point of the last of the liquid almost boiling away add the zest and give it a stir.
  6. Add the wine, turn the heat up a little
  7. Add about half the tarragon. Probably the stalks. They’re going to cook in the liquid and soften
  8. Once the liquid has reduced by half add the creme, turn the heat up a bit more and stir lots
  9. Add the lemon juice and remaining leafy tarragon, stir though.
  10. Serve. Mushrooms onto the toast with enough sauce to soak, the rest of the sauce over the salad.
  11. Salt and pepper to finish.


Tarragon is always too punchy and bitter when you eat it raw but a little cooking mellows the flavour and it rounds out well with the cream. The lemon and wine add acidity to clean up the rich oil of the cream. Fresh salt and pepper added at the last minute are instantly on your tongue rather than lost. So good I almost made a second round.

Ingredients With wine Pre cream Post cream Finished