What goes with Tarragon
Category Ingredients that Pair with Tarragon
Fruits Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit
Vegetables Asparagus, Mushrooms, Artichokes
Spices/Herbs Parsley, Chervil, Chives
Proteins Chicken, Salmon, Eggs
Breads & Grains Brioche, Pasta, Rice
Drinks Herbal teas, White wines, Pastis

In this article, we will delve into the world of tarragon and explore the various ways it can be used to enhance your culinary creations. Known as “the King of Herbs” in France, tarragon is a mainstay in French cooking, particularly in classic dishes like Béarnaise sauce and fines herbes. While fresh herbs like basil and chives are more commonly used in the United States, it’s time to start incorporating tarragon into your recipes.

Tarragon has a unique licorice-like flavor that is not overpowering. It pairs wonderfully with a wide range of dishes, including potatoes, eggs, seafood, poultry, sauces, cooked vegetables, pasta, cocktails, and even desserts. Its versatility in seasoning makes it a valuable addition to any kitchen.

When it comes to choosing the right tarragon variety, French tarragon is the best option for its superior flavor. Russian tarragon, although less flavorful, can serve as a substitute. Spanish tarragon is also a good alternative to French tarragon.

Storing tarragon is best done in the fridge, as it does not dry well. However, you can preserve it by making herb butter or infusing oil or vinegar with tarragon. When cooking with tarragon, it’s best to add it towards the end of the cooking process to retain its delicate flavor.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tarragon is a versatile herb that adds a unique licorice-like flavor to dishes.
  • It pairs well with potatoes, eggs, seafood, poultry, sauces, cooked vegetables, pasta, cocktails, and desserts.
  • French tarragon is the best variety, while Russian and Spanish tarragon can also be used.
  • Store tarragon in the fridge and preserve it by making herb butter or infusing oil or vinegar.
  • Add tarragon towards the end of cooking to preserve its delicate flavor.

The King of Herbs in French Cooking

Tarragon, often referred to as “the King of Herbs” in France, holds a special place in French cooking due to its unique flavor and versatility. In fact, it is considered one of the key ingredients in classic French dishes such as Béarnaise sauce and fines herbes. French cuisine has long celebrated the delicate, licorice-like taste of tarragon, which adds a subtle complexity to a wide variety of dishes.

When it comes to tarragon recipes, French culinary traditions offer a wealth of inspiration. From savory dishes like roast chicken with tarragon butter to exquisite seafood preparations like grilled salmon with tarragon cream sauce, this herb brings a touch of elegance and sophistication to the table. Its bright, herbaceous flavor pairs exceptionally well with ingredients like potatoes, eggs, cooked vegetables, pasta, and even cocktails and desserts.

To fully harness the culinary potential of tarragon, it is important to choose the right variety. French tarragon, with its intense aroma and distinct flavor, is widely considered the best option. Russian tarragon, on the other hand, lacks the same level of flavor complexity and is often seen as a less desirable substitute. Spanish tarragon can also be a worthy alternative to French tarragon, offering a similar taste profile.

To ensure you always have access to the freshest tarragon, it’s essential to know how to properly store and preserve this herb. Unlike some other herbs, tarragon doesn’t fare well when dried, so it’s best to keep it refrigerated. To extend its lifespan, consider making herb butter or infusing oil or vinegar with tarragon. These methods allow you to enjoy the herb’s unique flavors long after its harvest season has passed.

When incorporating tarragon into your cooking, it’s important to note that its delicate flavor can be easily lost if added too early in the cooking process. To preserve its distinct taste and aroma, it’s best to introduce tarragon towards the end of the cooking time, letting it infuse its essence into the dish without being overpowered by other flavors.

Discovering the Versatility of Tarragon

Tarragon’s versatility extends beyond its use in traditional French cooking. Its unique flavor profile makes it an excellent seasoning option that can enhance the taste of various dishes, from hearty stews and sauces to refreshing salads and dressings. Whether you’re exploring new flavor combinations or adding a finishing touch to your favorite recipes, tarragon offers a delightful culinary experience that is sure to impress.

Tarragon Culinary Uses

Understanding Tarragon’s Flavor Profile

The delicate and slightly sweet flavor of tarragon adds a unique twist to a wide range of dishes, making it a must-have herb in your culinary arsenal. With its distinctive licorice-like taste, tarragon can beautifully complement a variety of ingredients, taking your dishes to new heights of flavor.

One of the key benefits of using tarragon is its versatility in flavor combinations. This herb pairs exceptionally well with potatoes, eggs, seafood, and poultry, adding a touch of elegance and complexity to these dishes. From creamy sauces to perfectly cooked vegetables, tarragon brings a delightful aroma and an intriguing flavor to every bite.

But tarragon doesn’t stop at savory dishes. It can also add a surprising twist to cocktails and desserts. Imagine sipping on a refreshing tarragon-infused cocktail on a warm summer evening, or indulging in a creamy tarragon-flavored dessert. The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating tarragon into your culinary creations.

Tarragon Dishes Ideas

In summary, tarragon’s licorice-like flavor and versatility make it an essential herb for any cook. Whether you’re preparing a savory dish, mixing up a cocktail, or creating a delectable dessert, tarragon has the power to elevate your culinary creations to new heights. So, why not experiment with this herb in your next cooking adventure and discover the magic it can bring to your dishes?

Table: Tarragon Flavor Combinations

Ingredients Flavor Combination
Potatoes Tarragon adds a subtle hint of licorice, enhancing the earthy flavors of potatoes.
Eggs Tarragon adds a delicate, herbaceous note to scrambled eggs or omelettes.
Seafood Tarragon pairs beautifully with fish and shellfish, enhancing their natural flavors.
Poultry Tarragon adds an elegant touch to chicken and turkey dishes, creating a harmonious flavor combination.
Sauces Tarragon brings depth and complexity to creamy sauces like Béarnaise or hollandaise.

Source: seo-writing.ai

Choosing the Right Tarragon Variety

When it comes to tarragon, French tarragon stands out as the top choice due to its superior flavor, while Russian tarragon falls short in taste. Spanish tarragon, however, is a suitable substitute for French tarragon. French tarragon has a distinctively robust and aromatic flavor, making it the preferred variety for culinary applications. Its delicate leaves possess a subtle licorice-like taste that enhances the overall complexity of dishes.

Russian tarragon, on the other hand, lacks the intense flavor profile of its French counterpart. It tends to have a more bitter and grassy taste, making it less desirable for cooking. Although it may be more readily available, it is important to opt for French tarragon whenever possible to ensure the best culinary experience.

If you are unable to find French tarragon, Spanish tarragon can be a viable alternative. While it may not possess the exact same flavor as French tarragon, Spanish tarragon offers a similar taste profile that can still enhance your dishes. Spanish tarragon is known for its slightly sweeter and milder flavor, making it a versatile option in recipes that call for tarragon.

Tarragon Variety Flavor Profile Best Suited For
French Tarragon Robust and aromatic with a subtle licorice-like taste Culinary applications, including sauces, poultry, seafood, and more
Russian Tarragon Bitter and grassy Not recommended for cooking
Spanish Tarragon Slightly sweeter and milder A substitute for French tarragon in recipes

When selecting tarragon for your culinary endeavors, always choose fresh, vibrant leaves. They should have a deep green color and a strong aroma. Avoid wilted or discolored leaves, as they may indicate inferior quality. By opting for the right tarragon variety, you can elevate the flavors of your dishes and fully experience the culinary potential of this exceptional herb.

Tarragon Varieties

To summarize, French tarragon is the preferred variety for its superior flavor and aromatic qualities. Russian tarragon is less flavorful and can be disregarded in favor of its French counterpart. Spanish tarragon serves as a suitable substitute when French tarragon is unavailable. When using tarragon in your culinary creations, remember to choose the right variety and savor the unique taste it brings to your dishes.

Storing and Preserving Tarragon

To maintain the freshness and flavor of tarragon, it is important to store it properly in the refrigerator and consider preservation techniques like herb butter or infused oils and vinegars. Tarragon is a delicate herb that can lose its potency if not stored correctly. Follow these tips to ensure you get the most out of your tarragon:

  • Place fresh tarragon in a plastic bag or wrap it in a damp paper towel before storing it in the refrigerator. This will help retain its moisture and prevent wilting.
  • Store tarragon in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, where the humidity levels are higher. Keep it away from strong-smelling foods, as it can absorb odors easily.
  • If you have an abundance of tarragon, consider preserving it by making herb butter. Simply chop fresh tarragon leaves and mix them into softened butter. Roll the herb butter into a log using parchment paper and refrigerate or freeze for future use.
  • Another great way to preserve tarragon is by infusing oils or vinegars. Place a few sprigs of tarragon in a glass jar, cover them with oil or vinegar, and let it sit for a few weeks. This will allow the flavors of tarragon to infuse into the liquid, creating a flavorful ingredient for dressings, marinades, or drizzling over dishes.

By storing tarragon properly and exploring different preservation methods, you can enjoy its fresh and aromatic flavor long after it’s been harvested. Incorporate this versatile herb into your cooking and elevate your dishes with the unique taste of tarragon.

Storage Tips Preservation Methods
Store tarragon in a plastic bag or wrap it in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator Make herb butter by mixing chopped tarragon with softened butter
Keep tarragon in the crisper drawer away from strong-smelling foods Infuse oils or vinegars with tarragon by placing sprigs in a jar and covering with the liquid

“Tarragon adds a delightful touch to dishes when stored and preserved correctly. Incorporate it into your cooking and enjoy its fresh and distinctive flavor.” – Culinary expert

Cooking Tips for Tarragon

Maximise the impact of tarragon in your dishes with these helpful cooking tips that ensure you make the most of its unique taste and aroma. As an herb with a delicate flavor, tarragon is best added towards the end of the cooking process to preserve its distinctive licorice-like taste. This way, you can fully enjoy its vibrant notes without them being overwhelmed by other ingredients.

To enhance the flavor of your dishes, try pairing tarragon with ingredients that complement its taste. Tarragon works wonders with potatoes, lending them an enticing herbal profile. Add a sprinkle of chopped tarragon to mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes for a burst of freshness. Similarly, when cooking with eggs, whether scrambled, poached, or in a frittata, tarragon can elevate their flavor and take your breakfast or brunch to new heights of deliciousness.

Tarragon also shines when used in seafood and poultry dishes. The herb’s aromatic and slightly anise-like notes beautifully enhance the natural flavors of fish and shellfish. Create a mouthwatering seafood dish by seasoning grilled salmon or seared scallops with a touch of tarragon. For poultry, tarragon can be used in marinades, stuffings, or simply as a finishing herb for roasted chicken or turkey, adding a layer of complexity to the dish.

Whether you’re making a creamy béarnaise sauce or a tangy vinaigrette, tarragon is an excellent addition to sauces and dressings. Its distinctive flavor profile adds depth and character, making your sauces and dressings truly stand out. You can even use tarragon-infused vinegar or oil as a base for homemade salad dressings or marinades to infuse your dishes with its unique taste.

Tarragon Cooking Tips

Quick Tarragon Cooking Tips
Tip 1 Add tarragon towards the end of cooking to preserve its delicate flavor.
Tip 2 Pair tarragon with potatoes or eggs for a fresh and aromatic twist.
Tip 3 Experiment with tarragon in seafood and poultry dishes to elevate their taste.
Tip 4 Use tarragon in sauces and dressings to add depth and character to your culinary creations.

Tarragon Recipes for Inspiration

Explore our selection of delicious tarragon recipes, ranging from appetizers to main courses, that are sure to impress your friends and family. Tarragon’s unique flavor adds a touch of elegance and complexity to these delectable dishes, making them perfect for special occasions or simply elevating your everyday meals.

1. Tarragon Chicken Salad

Combine cooked chicken, mayonnaise, chopped celery, and a generous amount of chopped fresh tarragon in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of mixed greens or in a sandwich for a refreshing and flavorful lunch option.

2. Tarragon Roasted Potatoes

Toss quartered potatoes with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh tarragon leaves. Roast in the oven until golden brown and crispy. These fragrant and savory potatoes make a delightful side dish for any meal.

3. Grilled Tarragon Shrimp Skewers

Marinate peeled and deveined shrimp in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and minced tarragon for at least 30 minutes. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and grill until cooked through. Serve as an appetizer or main course with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

4. Tarragon Lemonade

Make a refreshing twist on classic lemonade by adding a handful of torn tarragon leaves to a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemon juice and sweetening to taste with simple syrup. Serve over ice for a cooling and herb-infused beverage.

5. Tarragon Mushroom Risotto

Sauté sliced mushrooms with minced shallots and garlic in butter until tender. Add Arborio rice and cook until translucent. Gradually add chicken or vegetable broth, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked and creamy. Stir in a generous amount of chopped tarragon and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a rich and flavorful risotto.

These tantalizing tarragon recipes are just a taste of the herb’s culinary potential. Whether you’re looking to add a sophisticated touch to your cooking or experiment with new flavors, tarragon is sure to inspire and elevate your kitchen creations.

Tarragon Recipes

Recipe Ingredients Instructions
Tarragon Chicken Salad Cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery, tarragon leaves, salt, pepper Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve on greens or in a sandwich.
Tarragon Roasted Potatoes Potatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, tarragon leaves Toss potatoes with seasonings. Roast in the oven until golden brown.
Grilled Tarragon Shrimp Skewers Shrimp, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, tarragon leaves, salt, pepper Marinate shrimp, thread on skewers, and grill until cooked through.
Tarragon Lemonade Lemons, tarragon leaves, simple syrup, water Mix lemon juice, torn tarragon leaves, and sweeten with simple syrup. Serve over ice.
Tarragon Mushroom Risotto Mushrooms, shallots, garlic, butter, Arborio rice, broth, tarragon leaves, Parmesan cheese Sauté mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Add rice and broth, stir until cooked. Mix in tarragon and Parmesan.

Tarragon in Cocktails and Desserts

Move beyond traditional uses and explore the infusion of tarragon in cocktails and desserts, adding a touch of sophistication and complexity to your libations and sweet treats. Tarragon’s unique flavor profile, with its subtle licorice-like taste, brings a delightful twist to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

One classic cocktail that showcases the versatility of tarragon is the Tarragon Gin and Tonic. Combining the refreshing notes of gin with the vibrant herbal essence of tarragon, this cocktail is a perfect choice for those looking to experiment with new flavors. The addition of fresh lime juice and a splash of tonic water creates a well-balanced and refreshing drink that is sure to impress your guests.

When it comes to desserts, tarragon can provide an unexpected twist to your sweet creations. Try infusing tarragon into a homemade lemon sorbet for a vibrant and refreshing dessert option. The subtle herbaceous notes of tarragon beautifully complement the citrusy flavors, creating a unique and unforgettable taste experience.

Table: Tarragon Cocktail and Dessert Ideas

Cocktails Desserts
Tarragon G&T Lemon Sorbet with Tarragon
Tarragon Mojito Strawberry Tarragon Shortcake
Tarragon Margarita Tarragon-infused Chocolate Truffles

So, whether you’re looking to elevate your cocktail creations or add a hint of sophistication to your desserts, tarragon is a versatile herb that can bring a new level of flavor to your culinary adventures. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with this underrated herb. Your taste buds will thank you!

Tarragon in Cocktails and Desserts

For more tarragon recipes and culinary inspiration, keep exploring the possibilities of this extraordinary herb. From savory dishes to sweet indulgences, tarragon has the power to transform your culinary creations into something truly extraordinary.

Tarragon’s Versatility in Seasoning

From marinades to dressings, tarragon proves to be a versatile seasoning that can elevate the taste profile of your favorite dishes. Its unique licorice-like flavor adds a touch of elegance and complexity to a wide range of culinary creations.

When it comes to seasoning, French tarragon is the go-to variety. Known as the king of herbs in French cooking, it boasts a more pronounced and delicate flavor compared to Russian tarragon, which can be less flavorful. If French Tarragon is not available, Spanish tarragon can be used as a substitute, although it has a slightly different taste.

To enhance the flavor of your dishes, here are some creative ways to incorporate tarragon as a seasoning. For marinades, combine fresh tarragon leaves with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the flavors meld together before marinating your choice of meat or vegetables. The result is a perfectly seasoned and aromatic dish that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

In dressings and sauces, tarragon adds a delightful twist. Create a creamy tarragon dressing by combining mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, fresh tarragon leaves, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and a dash of honey. Drizzle it over your salad or use it as a dip for vegetables. The tangy and herby flavors of tarragon will take your dressing to new heights.

Tarragon Seasoning

Tarragon Seasoning Ideas Best Dish Pairings
Tarragon-infused oil or vinegar Salads, roasted vegetables
Tarragon butter Grilled steak, baked potatoes
Tarragon and lemon zest rub Grilled chicken, seafood

When using tarragon as a seasoning, it is important to remember that its delicate flavor is best preserved by adding it towards the end of the cooking process. This ensures that its distinct taste and aroma remain intact, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Summing It Up

Tarragon is a versatile seasoning that can transform your dishes with its unique licorice-like flavor. Whether you’re marinating, dressing, or saucing, tarragon adds an elegant and complex dimension to your culinary creations. Experiment with different combinations and let tarragon elevate the taste profile of your favorite dishes.

Tarragon and Cooked Vegetables

Unlock the incredible potential of tarragon by incorporating it into your cooked vegetable recipes, enhancing their flavors and bringing a new dimension to your side dishes. Tarragon’s unique licorice-like taste adds a subtle yet refreshing note to various vegetables, elevating their natural flavors to create a truly delightful culinary experience.

When paired with roasted or sautéed vegetables, tarragon brings a touch of sophistication and complexity. Its herbaceous aroma and slightly sweet flavor complement the earthiness of root vegetables like carrots and parsnips. The addition of tarragon to dishes such as roasted potatoes or caramelized Brussels sprouts adds a pleasant herbal undertone that takes these classics to a whole new level.

One delightful combination to try is steamed asparagus drizzled with a tarragon-infused butter sauce. The vibrant green asparagus pairs perfectly with the aromatic tarragon, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Tarragon also works wonders with green beans, adding a refreshing twist to this humble vegetable.

Vegetables Tarragon Flavor Combinations
Carrots Tarragon and honey-glazed roasted carrots
Potatoes Tarragon-roasted potatoes with garlic and olive oil
Brussels Sprouts Tarragon-braised Brussels sprouts with bacon
Asparagus Steamed asparagus with tarragon-infused butter sauce
Green Beans Tarragon-tossed green beans with lemon zest

So why not experiment with tarragon and bring a touch of culinary finesse to your cooked vegetable recipes? Whether you’re preparing a simple side dish or a vibrant medley of vegetables, tarragon is sure to add that extra something special. Unlock the full potential of tarragon and elevate your vegetable dishes to new heights of flavor and enjoyment.

Tarragon and Cooked Vegetables

Tarragon: A Versatile Herb for Cooked Vegetables

Incorporating tarragon into your cooked vegetable recipes is not only a delicious choice but also a healthy one. Tarragon contains essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and potassium, making it a nutritious addition to your meals.

Tarragon in Poultry and Seafood

Whether you’re cooking chicken, turkey, fish, or shellfish, tarragon proves to be an exceptional pairing that elevates the taste of these dishes to new heights. Its delicate licorice-like flavor perfectly complements the natural flavors of poultry and seafood, adding an elegant and complex note to your meals.

For poultry dishes, try adding tarragon to your marinades or rubs to infuse the meat with its distinct aroma. Tarragon pairs particularly well with chicken and turkey, enhancing their flavors without overpowering them. You can also use tarragon to make a flavorful glaze for roast chicken or turkey, or simply sprinkle it over your grilled or baked poultry for a burst of freshness.

When it comes to seafood, tarragon brings a unique and sophisticated taste that enhances the natural sweetness of fish and shellfish. It complements the flavors of salmon, trout, halibut, and other white fish beautifully. Sprinkle some chopped tarragon over your grilled or baked fish, or add it to your seafood stews and sauces for a touch of elegance.

Poultry Dishes Seafood Dishes
Roast chicken with tarragon glaze Grilled salmon with tarragon butter
Turkey and tarragon sliders Tarragon shrimp scampi
Chicken and tarragon salad Tarragon-infused lobster bisque

Whether you’re a fan of classic French cuisine or you’re simply looking to experiment with new flavors, tarragon is a versatile herb that should not be overlooked. Its unique flavor profile and culinary uses make it an excellent choice for enhancing a wide range of dishes, including poultry and seafood. So, next time you’re cooking chicken or fish, reach for some fresh tarragon and let its magic transform your meal.


In conclusion, tarragon is a culinary gem that brings sophistication and depth of flavor to a variety of dishes, making it a valuable ingredient in any kitchen. Known as “the King of Herbs” in France, tarragon holds a prominent place in French cooking and is a key component in classic dishes like Béarnaise sauce and fines herbes.

While fresh herbs like basil and chives may be more commonly used in the United States, it’s time to embrace the unique flavors of tarragon. Its licorice-like taste is not overpowering, making it a versatile herb that pairs well with an array of ingredients. From potatoes and eggs to seafood and poultry, tarragon adds a delightful touch to sauces, cooked vegetables, pasta, cocktails, and even desserts.

When it comes to selecting the best variety of tarragon, French tarragon is the top choice. It offers the most flavor and is highly recommended for culinary use. Russian tarragon, on the other hand, is less flavorful and should be avoided if possible. If you can’t find French tarragon, Spanish tarragon can be a suitable substitute.

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the freshness of tarragon. It’s best to store it in the fridge, as drying the herb may result in loss of flavor. To preserve tarragon for longer, consider making herb butter or infusing oil or vinegar with tarragon branches. When cooking with tarragon, it’s advisable to add it towards the end of the cooking process to preserve its delicate flavor.

With its versatility, unique taste, and ability to elevate a wide range of dishes, tarragon should be a staple in every kitchen. Whether you’re looking to enhance the flavors of your favorite recipes or explore new culinary creations, tarragon is an ingredient that will undoubtedly impress and delight your taste buds.

By Mat Stuckey

Ex professional chef with a passion for cooking and unique flavours.

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