Called the "king of herbs" by French cooks, tarragon is the main flavoring in many of the sauces that are basic to that country's classic cuisine. In ancient times, the Greeks used tarragon as a remedy for toothaches.
Tarragon is known for its anise-like aroma and taste, which can easily overshadow other flavors in a dish. The narrow-leafed herb can be used fresh or dried. It is also preserved in vinegar for a tasty condiment that perks up salad dressings and homemade mustards.
Tarragon's dark green leaves can be used fresh in salads and sauces or as a garnish. The dried herb enhances fish, chicken and egg dishes as well as a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, broccoli and beets.
Adding tarragon toward the end of cooking brings out its maximum flavor and avoids its bitter side.
Recipes Make the Most of Tarragon
Chicken Tarragon is an easy-to-fix entree that combines moist chicken breasts with zucchini, carrots and mushrooms. "I love tarragon, so I make this dish often," says Ruth Peterson of Jenison, Michigan.
Joyce Turley of Slaughter, Kentucky accents succulent salmon in Grilled Salmon with Creamy Tarragon Sauce. A zippy sauce features tarragon, green onions, lime juice and hot pepper sauce.
Marie Hoyer of Lewistown, Montana whisks together tarragon, chives, parsley and Dijon mustard in her delightful Tarragon Salad Dressing. The fast-to-fix dressing will add a fresh tang to any bowl of mixed greens.