Tarragon is associated with fighting dragons. Yes, really! Not sure why as the taste of Tarragon is not that fiery really! It tastes like aniseed or liquorice. It adds warmth and sweetness to dishes. It is one of those herbs that tastes aniseedy/liquoricey when eaten raw and which, when cooked, merely leaves you with a sweet flavour. So if you don’t like liquorice, but have a sweet tooth, cook it in some way.
I often chop some and sprinkle it on top of vegetables when I am roasting them. Just a hint of sweetness with things like swede or turnip really tastes great.
I also cook it with mushrooms and cream (yes, I never stint on indulgence!). I bake a potato. Whilst waiting for the potato to bake, I cook some mushrooms with butter in a pan. I add some chopped Tarragon. Then I add the cream at the last minute. And add to the baked potato. Now if you really want to self-indulge, add butter to the potato first…
For people who are veggies, I often make scotch eggs, or egg salad, or even just quickly fry and egg on the griddle! Chop up the Tarragon and incorporate it into whatever method of cooking eggs you are using.
It comes into its own at a BBQ. I like to chop it and scatter it, in the final minute of grilling, over chicken. OR if you are cooking a whole chicken, just cut the long stems, including leaves, and curl them into the cavity of the chicken. Remember – not too much because you need the cavity to be fairly airy for it to cook through. And during the Game season, it is just perfect on game birds – adds a hint of sweetness.
The photo is of pheasant and cabbage with Tarragon. So you see, when it pops up in Spring, it is a sign of good food to come!
For a bit more about how to grow and keep it, click here: