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Help! Tarragon and Sage gone wild

margib May 9, 2012 03:15 PM

Last spring, we planted some tarragon and sage and enjoyed the bounty over the the next few months... I don't know if it was the mild winter and/or warm spring, but we are inundated with the herbs now. Anyone have any suggestions for using lots of these herbs. We have been making yummy roasted chickens and chicken salad and tuna, but the recipes barely make a dent in our rapidly growing herb patch. (We also have some thyme and rosemary, but they are a much more manageable amount). I am thinking pestos, olive oils, vodkas...thoughts?

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  1. weezieduzzit RE: margib May 9, 2012 03:21 PM

    Sweet potato gnocchi with sage and browned butter is a real treat. Sage also dries and freezes well. Tarragon, not so much.

    I'll be reading along with you, margib, I have a lot of sage. Sadly my tarragon didn't overwinter and I need to plant a new one.

    1. tcamp RE: margib May 9, 2012 03:41 PM

      Tarragon is my favorite. I love it chopped on any steamed vegetable, with a bit of butter or olive oil. New potatoes, green beans, corn. Or saute pounded chicken breasts in butter, then finish with a tarragon cream sauce.

      1. t
        tardigrade RE: margib May 9, 2012 08:11 PM

        You can always harvest and dry some (or a lot) in case it goes back to its normal growth pattern!

        Fried sage leaves make a nice garnish - just fry the fresh, dry leaves in hot oil for a few seconds and drain. Add chopped sage leaves to chicken or turkey stuffing. Make savory bread puddings. Or do like I do and just whack the plants back when they get out of hand: I live in an area with a Mediterranean climate, much like that where these plants originated, and they grow like weeds. When the rosemary gets over 3' tall I'll prune it and add the cuttings to a charcoal fire when grilling, but mostly they go in the compost.

        1. e
          eepi RE: margib May 9, 2012 08:22 PM

          Tarragon is amazing with eggs. I like to prep the oven to 350, put the eggs in ramekins, pour in a bit of half-and-half, salt, pepper, and snip tarragon into each one. Bake until set (I like mine a bit runny but you just sort of check them until they look done to your liking). Also great in scrambled eggs or in the deviled egg mix.

          I don't see why a tarragon pesto wouldn't work - tarragon vodka sounds odd but intriguing. Definitely vinegar - never tried it but I bet it's super easy and could be given as gifts.

          1. alkapal RE: margib May 10, 2012 04:36 AM

            tarragon vinegar!

            then…you can make green goddess dressing.

            i looked on one site and saw so many tempting things! http://www.eatingwell.com/search/apac...

            i can never get a good tarragon plant, whereas my sage plant is ages old!

            4 Replies
            1. re: alkapal
              Delucacheesemonger RE: alkapal May 10, 2012 05:39 AM

              When grew tarragon, made a ton of vinegar in pretty bottles and for a few years, that was Christmas gits

              1. re: alkapal
                tcamp RE: alkapal May 10, 2012 06:13 AM

                Tarragon, DC area. Trick is put it in a location with a southern exposure, up against a brick wall if possible. I had one outside for 5 years, then it was destroyed in a gardening error. I planted last summer's container of tarragon in early fall and it is already back and growing like a delicious weed. Me so happy.

                1. re: tcamp
                  alkapal RE: tcamp May 10, 2012 06:40 AM

                  i always thought the long sun exposure and heat made it wither! ;-).
                  thanks for the tip! you are talking french tarragon, right?

                  1. re: alkapal
                    tcamp RE: alkapal May 10, 2012 09:51 AM

                    Yes, french tarragon. I always grow mine in the sun although my location is somewhat shaded in the summer thanks to a couple of nearby trees.

              2. k
                katecm RE: margib May 11, 2012 10:12 AM

                Last night I chopped up fresh tarragon, sage and rosemary then mixed in lemon juice, lemon zest, honey and olive oil. I marinaded shrimp in it for about 30 minutes, then quickly sauteed them in butter and the marinade, ending with a splash of white wine. It was really good!

                1. shaogo RE: margib May 11, 2012 10:23 AM

                  Bruise the tarragon and cover with vinegar. Store it and you've got tarragon vinegar to use when making Hollandaise (it then becomes Bearnaise 'cause of the inclusion of tarragon - I think purists also add chervil to Bearnaise).

                  When I see sage I think "sausage." Grind the sage and add it and salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to ground pork and you've got the most delicious breakfast sausage in the world.

                  Sage added to a cream sauce is decadent over grilled or baked pork chops. Add finely minced pickled cocktail onions to the sauce for a real Alsatian-style treat.

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