tarragon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf tarragon is new for you, here are some ideas to work with… tarragon is the French ‘King of Herbs’, you’d recognize it as the seasoning in those fancy Frenchy saucy bearnaise and hollandaise dishes. It’s a great herb for blending into vinaigrettes and other dressings. Add it to white beans as a soup or salad. Dice it up and decorate your eggs with it. Decorate your salad with it. Hold on! Add it to your favorite egg salad recipe! Here’s a tip from Deborah Madison: if you are cooking with tarragon, it’s best to add it at the end rather than the beginning as the oils are volitile and quick to dissipate in the heat.

Tarragon and parsley aioli This is a great dipping sauce for fresh or blanched vegetables. Use as a salad dressing or smear onto a sandwich.

  • 1 farm-fresh egg yolk from clean, healthy chickens
  • 1 small clove garlic, less than a teaspoon crushed (optional)
  • 1 cup oil
  • Salt
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon and parsley, or chervil

Let your egg sit out on the counter until it comes up to room temperature. Separate the egg and reserve the white for another use. If you’re using garlic, crush it with a garlic press or mortar and pestle into a smooth paste and stir it into the egg yolk. Add about a quarter of the oil and whisk until a very well-incorporated mixture forms. Drizzle in the rest of the oil in a thin stream while whisking it all the while. Add salt and lemon to taste. Stir or blend in the chopped chervil. Use right away.

Green Goddess Dressing Adapted from Bon Apetit. A great salad dressing. Also good for dressing up simple pan-roasted potatoes. Yum.

  • 1/2 ripe medium avocado (about 7 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 oil-packed anchovies, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Salt and pepper

Put avocado, vinegar, garlic clove, anchovies, lemon juice, lime juice, and sugar in a blender. Whizz until puréed.  While the motor is running, pour in olive oil in a steady stream. When all of the oil is incorporated, pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Whisk in your cream; it’s okay if it looks a bit stripe-y. Stir in your chopped basil, parsley, tarragon, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Cover mixture and put it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before serving. It will keep for 3 days.

Citrus Tarragon Sorbet You might try this recipe as is, or consider substituting all juice for orange or grapefruit juice (more readily available), or melon.

  • cup water
  • cup sugar
  • small bunch tarragon, about 10 sprigs
  • zest of half a grapefruit (orange, or lemon)
  • cups fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh tangerine juice (orange)
  • tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine the water, sugar, tarragon and zest in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep for 5 minutes. Add the grapefruit juice, tangerine juice and lemon juice to the sugar mixture. Strain with a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the pulp and herbs. Let the mixture cool, then transfer into a container. Cover and freeze overnight. Let soften at room temperature before scooping.

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