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Tarragon! You can use it fresh in sauces, tossed in salads, and anywhere chervil or fennel is called for.  Tarragon doesn't dry well, you can however easily make tarragon vinegar.  Just put 2-3 stems in a bottle of vinegar (Tom at Carried Away in Aptos recommends sherry or champagne vinegar...) and within a few days you have tarragon vinegar.


3 lbs.
2 tsp.
1 tsp.
1 tsp.
1 1/2 cup
1 tbsp.
1/4 cup
1/4 cup
vine-ripened tomatoes (about 8 medium)
balsamic vinegar, or to taste
sugar, or to taste
fresh lemon juice, or to taste
ice water
finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
vine-ripened yellow cherry tomatoes
finely chopped zucchini
finely chopped red onion
Baguette Toasts

Make soup: Chop tomatoes and in a food processor purŽe with vinegar, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour purŽe through a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids. Discard solids. Stir in ice water and salt and pepper to taste. Soup may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reseason soup before serving. Stir tarragon into soup and thinly slice cherry tomatoes. Serve soup sprinkled with tomatoes, zucchini, and onion, and with toasts on the side.

Gourmet, August 1997

Tarragon Vinegar
Tomatoes Love Herbs
 1      Cup           Loosely Packed Fresh   Tarragon
 2      Cups          Sherry Vinegar Or  White Wine Vinegar
Place the herbs in a clean, sterilized jar and use a spoon to bruise them slightly.  Pour the vinegar over the herbs and cover the jar tightly. Put the jar in a dark place at room temperature to let the herb‑vinegar mixture steep.  Shake the jar every few days and taste the vinegar after one week.  If the flavor is not strong enough, let it stand for another 1‑3 weeks, checking the flavor weekly. If an even stronger flavor is desired, repeat the steeping process with fresh herbs.  When the flavor is right, strain the vinegar into a different sterilized bottle; cap tightly


2 lbs.
2 tbsp.
3 tbsp.
2 tbsp.
green beans, trimmed
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice, or to taste
finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves, or to taste
tarragon sprigs

In a large kettle of boiling salted water blanch beans in 2 batches 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. With a slotted spoon transfer beans as blanched to a large bowl filled with ice and cold water. Drain beans well and pat dry, Beans may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled covered. Just before serving, in a large bowl toss together beans, oil, lemon juice, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve beans garnished with tarragon sprigs.

Gourmet,  July 1995


1 1/4 lbs.
3 tbsp.
3 tbsp.
1/4 cup
1 tbsp.
2 tbsp.
2 tsp.
small new potatoes (1 to 2 inches in diameter)
hard-cooked large egg, peeled and chopped
sour cream
finely chopped dill pickle
finely chopped shallot
Dijon mustard
finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon or to taste

In a large saucepan combine potatoes with enough water to cover by 1 inch and simmer until just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and cool until they can be handled.  While potatoes are cooling, in a bowl combine remaining ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch dice and gently toss with egg mixture. Serve potato salad chilled or at room temperature.

Gourmet,  September 1994

Try this with any salad, over steamed and chilled green beans or potatoes, or sliced tomatoes.

1 1/2 tsp.
4 tsp.
2 tbsp.
1/3 cup
Dijon-style mustard
green onion or shallot, minced
tarragon white-wine vinegar
minced fresh tarragon leaves
extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, the shallot, the vinegar, the tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.

Gourmet, January 1993


3 tbsp.
1 1/2 tbsp.


1 1/2 tbsp.
fresh lemon juice
Fresh ground pepper
1-inch-thick salmon fillets
minced fresh tarragon

Preheat broiler. Melt butter with lemon juice in small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add generous amount of pepper. Arrange salmon skin side down on broiler proof pan. Brush with half of butter mixture. Season with salt. Broil without turning until just cooked through. Transfer to plates. Add tarragon to remaining butter. Spoon over salmon and serve. Makes 2 servings; can be doubled or tripled.

Bon AppŽtit, April 1990

Note from Julia: We enjoyed this dish served at room temperature, but it is also delicious warm.

1 bunch
1 lg. bunch
1/2 cup
3/4 cup
1 cup
1/3 cup
2 tsp.

fresh tarragon
fresh chives or 3 green onions
chopped onion
fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
rice vinegar (not seasoned)
Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups
2 1/2 cups
2 1/2- to 3-lb.
1 1/2 lbs.

dry white wine
salmon fillet with skin
pink fingerling or other new potatoes

Garnish: 1/2 pound cooked sugar snap peas, diagonally cut into thirds

Make sauce Pick enough tarragon leaves to measure 1/2 cup (do not pack). Chop enough chives to measure 1/3 cup. Coarsely chop shallot. In a food processor puree tarragon, chives, and shallot with remaining sauce ingredients until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to cool room temperature before serving.

Make Fish In a deep 10-inch skillet bring wine and water to a simmer, covered. Cut salmon into 6 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Submerge 3 salmon pieces, skin sides down, in simmering liquid (add hot water if necessary to just cover salmon) and poach at a bare simmer, covered, 8 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer cooked salmon with a slotted spatula to a platter to cool and poach remaining salmon in same manner. When salmon is cool enough to handle, peel off skin and if desired with a sharp knife scrape off any dark meat. Salmon may be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salmon to cool room temperature before serving.

Assemble Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. In a steamer set over boiling water steam potatoes until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon sauce onto 6 plates and arrange some potatoes in a circle, overlapping slightly, on top of sauce . Season potatoes with salt and arrange salmon on top of potatoes. Garnish salmon with peas. Serves 6.

Gourmet, July 1998


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