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Jul 16, 2006 08:37 PM

Tarragon Ideas?

In this weird weather year in N. Cal, we have almost no fruit (except buckets of figs), just a few tomatoes and the green beans haven't even started yet. BUT the herbs are huge and lush, especially the lemon balm and tarragon. I don't cook with tarragon much, occasionally in vinaigrette for spinach, but Friday night stuffed a chicken with a big bunch plus garlic and lemon. I would normally have used thyme or sage or rosemary for that. The tarragon perfumed the meat beautifully and the juices made a delectable sauce. I was amazed and want to use more of it. How do you use tarragon?

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  1. great with chix as you know, also fish. Compound butters for either or for veg.

    1. I love bernaise sauce, I'll spread that on almost anything and you might also make up your own tarragon vinegar. Stuff well rinsed and blotted dry tarragon into decorative bottles with good tight stoppers or corks. Fill each bottle with warm good white wine vinegar and put it away in a cool dry spot until ready to use or to give as gifts at the holidays. You cab make all sorts of infused vinegars or herbed jellies too.

      I have jelly jars just waiting for me to fill with basil jelly and others. They are pretty, delicious and wonderful as a condiment with roasted meats and not commonly found on store shelves.

      Oh, another thought for tarragon, if you can get teeny tiny cucumbers at a farmers market you could make those lovely French cornichons which can be so expensive to buy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        Thanks everyone, keep them coming. Yes, vinegar. And I love the idea of tarragon pickles. We have a cornichon plant but have had a pathetic 3 cucumbers from it this year. I suppose I could use my usual dill pickle recipe, substituting tarragon for dill? Plus I think I'd go easy on the usual hot chiles.

        1. re: Junie D

          You should consider pickling other veggies too like baby carrots, radishes, cauliflower, etc. in tarragon. I had some pickled (or marinated?) baby carrots at an SF restaurant recently, and the subtle tarragon flavor was wonderful!

          I agree w/ Candy on Bernaise...tastes great w/ so many things. Recently had it at a restaurant paired w/ halibut, but wild salmon would be great. Would also be nice w/ poached eggs.

          I agree that tarragon and chicken were made for each other. Put in chicken salad or a chicken stew (like the chicken Riesling from Balthazar that I've posted on).

          Tarragon is one of my all-time favorite herbs!! Let us know if you come across any interesting uses...

        2. re: Candy

          Please tell me more about basil jelly... :)

        3. I recantly had a great spread/dip at a newer place in town that had a mystery taste. It was a bean dip puree with a tad of cumin and some olive oil and, we finally desided, terrago. It made all the diff'- a wonderful light anise undertone. I liked it better than a hummus. Next time I will make it with edamame.

          1. I sprinkle it on top of cooked carrots and a little butter.

            Roasted chicken

            A little bit chopped into lobster salad.

            1. The flavor really goes well with artichokes.