It’s Sunday here at 4 You With Love and that means it’s another installment of: Spices 101. Okay, how many of you purchased one of those spice organizers that come complete filled with spices? Now, next question, did you actually use each spice “fairly” or did you find that some spices you ran out of quickly while others are still practically completely full? If so, let me guess one of these “unloved” spices is…….Tarragon. Am I right? Well, let’s see if we can change that.
What basil is to Italy, tarragon is to France. Tarragon has a slight anise flavor and is found in such recipes as Bearnaise Sauce, Green Goddess Dressing, and those creamy french dijon sauces. To step up your recipes, tarragon works well with eggs, fish and poultry, but don’t stop there. It’s wonderful licorice/anise flavor actually goes well with fruits and vegetables also…..yes, I did say fruits.
Tarragon is best when used fresh and if growing it in your garden, the French variety is best (avoid the Russian variety as it is not as fragrant and is slightly bitter.) If you are using dried tarragon, give it a sniff first. If it smells like cardboard it will taste like cardboard so discard it if it has lost it’s oomph. Do not get too carried away when adding tarragon as it can overpower other herbs and spices.
You will also find that tarragon is great infused into vinegars and simple sugar syrups for use in various dishes. If you haven’t cooked much with tarragon, why don’t you give it a try with something simple like adding a bit to your deviled egg recipe next time. I bet you’ll like it!