Herbs – Tarragon

Herb gardens are going crazy all over town and we want you to make use of that bounty in every meal. Here we present a series of recipes and ideas for putting all those delicious plants to good use.

This pretty little French herb is still going strong well into September. It’s tender licorice-y leaves are a classic garnish for an omelette or a piece of whitefish. Those leaves, like almost all green herbs (with the exception of rosemary and oregano), lose most of their brilliant flavour when dried so you want to use them as much as possible when fresh.

If they can’t be dried how else to capture their essence for use in the dark days of January?

Think vinegar. Think Christmas gifts or Kwanzaa or Festivus. Your tarragon plant is spilling out of its planter with a bounty of flavour just waiting to infuse some lovely white wine vinegar.

Go to a dollar store and get some nice jars. Cut a bunch of tarragon stems and rinse well. Clean the jars well and let dry on a rack. Once ready crush the tarragon a bit in your hand then push a stem or two into each jar, the bruising brings out the essential oils in the plant. Top with white wine vinegar and let steep for 2-3 weeks.

Strain out the old leaves at this point and put a fresh stem of the herb into each bottle. Put the lids on and tie a card with ribbon around the neck of the jar with a recipe for tarragon vinaigrette printed on it. Perfect little gifts for all those people on your list who have everything but a bottle of local, homemade tarragon vinegar!

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