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A touch of tarragon: 5 classic recipes

Time:2018-07-03 21:19wine - Red wine life health Click:

recipes Classic touch Tarragon

When I think of tarragon, I think of France. And Julia Child, summery poached eggs, Dijon mustard and Green Goddess salad dressing.

When I think of tarragon I become nostalgic and wistful for things I can’t even fathom – I suspect it comes from inhaling the intoxicating aroma that comes when you rub tarragon between your fingertips. It makes you think of adventures that you’ve always longed to take, but never did.

Tarragon is one of those delicate yet heady herbs that many keep jarred at the back of a kitchen cabinet, purchased on a whim and then promptly forgotten. Or to be glanced crammed together with all the other fresh herbs at your local grocery store, vying for attention. Yet, with its mild anise flavour, it’s an herb just waiting to get asked out to the culinary dance.

Belonging to the sunflower family, it’s one of the four main herbs in classic French cooking, as described in the excellent The Story of Food – An Illustrated History of Everything We Eat (DK).

A touch of tarragon: 5 classic recipes

Juriaan Snellen, executive corporate chef for McCormick Canada

According to Juriaan Snellen, executive corporate chef for McCormick Canada, tarragon is “highly aromatic with a licorice-like flavour, used in roast chicken, eggs, herb butter and vinaigrettes.” Tarragon is also best known as an important ingredient in the classic bearnaise sauce – “the emulsified lukewarm egg/butter sauce that’s usually served alongside bistro-favourite steak frites.” In fact, Bearn, in southwest France, is the birthplace for this delicious sauce.

Tarragon has been used for centuries in places like Southern Russia, Western Asia, France and England, adds Juriaan, and the light to dark green leaf is “unique from any other herb.”

When was the last time you took tarragon out for a whirl? Perhaps the following recipes will get you excited for this heavenly herb.

A touch of tarragon: 5 classic recipes

Tarragon salmon – courtesy Nigella.com

Tarragon Salmon

Serve this summery dish with a favourite side salad. Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson (Nigella.com.)

1/4 cup (60mL) dry white vermouth or white wine

1 tsp. (5mL) EACH dried tarragon and dried chives

1 tsp. (5mL) unsalted butter

2 tsp. (10mL) garlic-infused olive oil

(or 1 Tbsp./15mL olive oil with 1/2 tsp.(2mL) organic garlic powder)

2 salmon fillets (5-6oz./125-150g) each

1/4 cup (60mL) double cream

Salt/pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh tarragon and chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Pour vermouth into a cup and stir in dried herbs. Put to one side. Heat butter and garlic oil in a small frying pan in which two salmon fillets will fit snugly. When it begins to sizzle, add salmon and cook, hump-side down, for two minutes. Turn over salmon, add vermouth with its herbs and, once it comes to a bubble, cook for a further two-three minutes. Remove salmon fillets to a couple of plates; stir cream into pan, seasoning to taste. Garnish each fillet with fresh chopped tarragon and chives.

Serves 2.

A touch of tarragon: 5 classic recipes

Creamy Tarragon Mustard Dressing – Vitamix.com/ca

Creamy Tarragon Mustard Dressing

Use this delicious, fragrant salad dressing recipe on any combination of greens, or use it for a pasta salad, or drizzled on a few boiled baby potatoes. Adapted from a recipe courtesy Vitamix.com/ca

1/4 cup (60mL) extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. (30mL) EACH Dijon mustard and tarragon vinegar

1 Tbsp. (15mL) apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. (15mL) olive oil

1 Tbsp. (15mL) chopped fresh tarragon

1 Tbsp. (15mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 green onions, white parts with some green, finely minced

1/4 tsp. (1mL) salt

Pinch white pepper

1 tsp. (5mL) sugar

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend to emulsify. Pour into a glass jar, cover and store in fridge for up to three days.

A touch of tarragon: 5 classic recipes

Grey Goose Tigertail Cocktail

Tigertail Cocktail

Tarragon in a cocktail? Absolutely! The herb adds a refreshing element to this cocktail, created exclusively by Grey Goose famed vodka created in France. @GreyGooseCanada

1.5 oz. favourite vodka

1/4 oz. orange liqueur

1/4 oz Green Chartreuse*

1/2 oz honey syrup**

1/2 oz lime juice

2 oz. sparkling water (Perrier suggested)

3 slices of nectarine

Tarragon as a garnish

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