Jane Van Valzah, president of KGFM’s Board of Directors and owner of Friendly Cottage Farm, writes a regular Herb of the Month column for the newsletter. September’s herb is tarragon.
Do you know tarragon? I do and it is a wonderful, aromatic, explosion of flavor for your home-cooked “gourmet” meals! It is also known as dragon’s wart because it is derived from the French word for “little dragon.” You don’t have to be the Galloping Gourmet or Julia Childe to cook with fresh herbs, especially tarragon.
Tarragon is used to season fish, eggs, and poultry and — as Julia Childe will attest — it is used in traditional French cooking. The flavor is reminiscent of licorice.
Herbs fit into three categories: annual, biennial and perennial. In our area tarragon is a perennial if pampered, or, if not pampered, an annual. It prefers a sunny location, but will tolerate some shade. It likes sandy, well-drained soil. It rarely re-seeds itself. In order to keep an on-going supply, you must try to do cuttings and root them. Even those might fail and you might have to just buy more.
Tarragon is a great addition to herb butter. Mix ¼ cup of butter with 2 teaspoons of chopped tarragon, Let stand for 30 minutes then spread on crackers or bread, fresh corn on the cob, grilled or cooked vegetables, or even pasta. You can even make cheese balls for festive occasions. Béarnaise sauce is so scrumptious on beef. You can find this easy to make sauce on AllRecipes.com. Below you will find a delightful dressing using tarragon.
In a blender container combine ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ buttermilk or yogurt, 2 green onions, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon, and 1 clove garlic. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth. Enjoy!
— Jane Van Valzah, Friendly Cottage Farm