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Fresh Tarragon

I make an excellent bearnaise sauce, good tarragon vinegar use it in salads but what are your favorite things to do with it. I cannot stand it dried, it somehow tastes artifical to me in that state. Looks like I am going to have a lot this year. Ideas?

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  1. I'm so jealous...

    If you've waded through the massive Deviled Eggs thread, my favorite thing to do with Tarragon is an elegant egg salad - tons of tarragon and bits of cornichons and/or capers. Very summery.

    Also, I do a quick vegetable saute (your choice: zucchini, squash, carrots, whatever). Saute chopped veggies of choice with butter and at the last minute, add lots of chopped tarragon and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Summer veggies!

    1. I, like you, never used dried tarragon, but I have two healthy plants growing in my garden. My favourite is tarragon cream sauce with pasta, grilled chicken, and diced tomatoes.

      1. Chop well and..
        fold into cold chicken salad
        fold into meatballs
        fold into poundcake
        add to scrambled eggs
        add to a citrus dressing

        ...and create sachets!

        1. It was awesome in a tuna pasta salad I had for lunch the other day. A really great pair.

          1. shrimp salad with tarragon is my go to summer dish. mayo, tarragon, dijon mustard, green onions, celery (optional) s and p. delicious on a bed of greens, toast, crackers, whatever...

            1. chop some tarragon into sour cream & yogurt, salt lightly and use to sauce chilled, steamed broccoli. let sit for several hours for the flavor to develope. Molly Katzen's recipe, I think.

              1. Chop it with salt.
                Loosen the skin of a chicken,
                Put it under the skin,
                wrap in plastic overnight,

                1. Make some Green Goddess dressing or some Tarragon Chicken. Mmmm!

                  Delia Smith has a good Chicken w/ Sherry Vinegar & Tarragon Sauce. You can find it at deliaonline.com

                  Here is a link:

                  1. Tarragon pairs well with grapefruit in sauces and dressings.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sweetpotater

                      I have a ruby red grapefruit and tarragon granita recipe if anyone is interested. I made it for a dining group palate refresher and it was so tasty that we had some after each course. It is an amazing flavor combination.

                      1. re: Candy

                        Candy....can vouch for your granita....since you posted last summer....one of my DH's favourites!!

                    2. What about a green beans salad? Cook the green beans al dente in a lot of heavily salted water (one big spoon of salt per liter, one liter per 100g of beans), boiling all the time. Stop the cooking in iced water: beans are shiny, super green, firm. (They must be as fresh as possible). Then one big spoon of cream, half a lemon juice, salt, pepper... and sliced tarragon.

                      1. Tarragon is my favorite summer herb. I put it in all kinds of stuff.
                        Try tarragon and chantrell soup or ravioli.
                        How about fresh sauted corn & mushrooms with tarragon and scallions served with seared duck breast! Yum!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cheftori

                          I like it with fish, too -- salmon and other mild juicy types.

                        2. I really like it in potato salad (dijon-mustard based dressing). I also had a really good pasta salad at a BBQ not too long ago with cherry tomatoes, peas and fresh tarragon.

                          1. Wow, no one has mentioned sauce remoulade. It's good used to dress shredded raw celery root as a kind of slaw, also good with seafood as it's similar to tartar sauce.

                            From wikipedia:

                            French Remoulade

                            According to Larousse Gastronomique, remoulade is 250ml Mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons mixed herbs (parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon), 1 tablespoon drained capers, 2 finely diced cornichons and a few drops of anchovy essence(optional). It is classified in French cooking a derivative of the mayonnaise sauce.

                            1. There was an extensive thread on the topic just a few weeks ago: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/406513

                              And I agree, dried tarragon is a completely different herb from fresh.

                              1. It is a must in tuna salad, along with raspberry wasabi mustard, bit of mayo, onion Worcestershire sauce. Also great with chicken or any fish.

                                1. Candy years ago I had a wonderful bernaise sauce recipe that I would use fresh tarragon. And no longer have it, sorry to say.
                                  As of late I have had more darn problems with breaking the sauce or not getting the flavor I recall. Do you mind sharing your recipe and instructions for your excellent bernaise sauce? I would love to make a lovely filet mignon with that sauce for my birthday.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                    I'll get it to you tomorrow. I make it in a small Calphalon 1qt. sauce pan. It is very heavy and my gas cook top has 5 burners one is dedicated to simmer. I still use a cast iron flame tamer under the pan. When it looks like either my hollandaise or bearnaise is going to break I add an ice cube and whisk like crazy lifting the pan off of the heat. When it is smooth again I gently reheat. Ro cut down on stress I often will make the sauce and then hold it in a wide mouth thermos. It will keep perfectly for a couple of hours.

                                    1. re: Candy

                                      Thanks, I have not tried that, using the ice cube to cool it quickly. I used to make perfect bernaise, and hollandaise. And I am now thinking since I changed pots and pans that is when I began having problems. One evening 5 times I dumped it before it finally came out! By then no one enjoyed it.

                                      Thanks I'm gratetful for the recipe and tips!

                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        Bearnaise Sauce

                                        Simmer 1 tsp. minced shallots, a small minced spric of tarragon, and a bit of chervil, chopped, 2 peppercorns a dash of salt and 1/4 C. tarragon vinegar. Smmer until the vinegar is reduced by 2/3's. Cool to lukewarm.

                                        Seperate 5 eggs and place the yolks in the pan with the vinegan and beat them briskly with a whisk. Slowly beat in 3/4 C. melted unsalted butter over low heat. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens. Then strain into a warmed bowl and add some cayenne pepper, and a teaspoon total of minced chervil and tarragon.

                                        You can do this in the blender like making blender hollandaise but I never feel it gets thick enough so I end up putting it back in a pan and cooking until thckened to my own taste. Nothing worse that runny under cooked hollandaise or beanaise.

                                        1. re: Candy

                                          Thank you, my dh and I just talked about the dinner last night. Asked where I wanted to go, and as I told him I want to make Filet Mignon with Benaise Sauce. I know I will get an awesome meal that way, can enjoy a nice bottle of wine to go with, and a lovely side.

                                          Will do this next week/weekend. Thanks Candy I appreciate your time in posting and will report back the success! Looks like I need the few days ahead to diet on down!
                                          oh just notice you add the tarragon in, it is not strained out right? My old recipe cooked the tarragon in the vinegar and then I strained it out. I prefer that you leave it in and mince it am I right? Never mind! I think I see what you do, first step is clear. Then add it again.

                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            You add some more for a fresher brighter flavor. Enjoy!

                                  2. tarragon butter. Carmelize some chopped shallots, add chopped tarragon, cook v. briefly, melt however much butter you want to use, put everything in the blender, chill, and enjoy. Great with steak.
                                    Also, tarragon with salmon is always a nice pairing.

                                    1. I too have massive amounts of tarragon. I started putting it in my green salads and really liking it. I kept putting in more and more...now my green salads are about 25% tarragon! It works very well with some lettuce and arugula.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lora

                                        Fresh herbs mixed into salad greens are really tasty. It's good with mint too. And this is not a nouvelle cuisine thing, one of Joy of Cooking's older editions has a recipe for parsley salad with lemon vinaigrette.