Tarragon is an Under-utilized Herb

6 Jul

We have been using a lot of tarragon lately. Really a nice flavor — very summery. I added a generous amount of dried tarragon in some turkey burgers I made last night. The burgers, much lower in fat than traditional hamburgers, were topped with leaf lettuce, provolone cheese, Vidalia onion slices, and my homemade guacamole. Deee-lish. For lunch today, I made a batch of chicken salad with tarragon. Started out by boiling some Perdue chicken breasts and later used the leftover broth to make an Asian Chicken soup with parsley, carrots, onion, Teriyaki sauce, chili sauce, and chopped garlic. Turned out very nice — and we have some left for dinner tonight.

We have provided some basic info on tarragon below — thanks to our friends at McCormick.com.  

Description
Tarragon is the dried leaves of the herb Artemisia dracunculus. The slender dark-green leaves have a pleasant anise-like flavor and aroma.

Uses
Tarragon blends well with other spices. It is used in sauces, especially Bearnaise sauce and tarragon vinegar. In French cuisine it is an integral part of fines herbes and dijon mustard.

Origins
The primary sources of Tarragon are France and California. Both have a similar flavor, but California Tarragon has a greener, more uniform color and is cleaner.

Folklore
The English word “tarragon” originates from the French word estragon or “little dragon,” which is derived from the Arabic tarkhun. Some believe the herb was given this name because of its supposed ability to cure the bites of venomous reptiles, while others believe the plant was so named because of its coiled, serpent-like roots. Although alluded to briefly in the 13th century as a seasoning for vegetables, a sleep-inducing drug, and a breath sweetener, tarragon did not become well known until the 16th century.

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