1 Bunch of Tarragon, 5 Dinners and Sides

Get to know tarragon: spring cleaning for your palate.

Nothing says ‘spring’ like fresh herbs. This month, we’re taking a closer look at how to best use herbs in all of your Spring meals. This content was created in partnership with Food52. 

Tarragon is a tricky little herb if you’re not used to cooking with it. Its anise flavors and sharp smell might be a little off-putting at first, but when paired with bright lemon and savory shallots or mellowed with cream and milk, tarragon becomes more demure. Take advantage of the fresh herb when you find it; the dried leaves don’t retain as much punch. Trust us -- this herb will have you feeling like a spring chicken.

Tarragon Potato Salad with Cured Salmon and Lemon Vinaigrette


Photo by James Ransom

This is a good recipe for tarragon newcomers -- you can add more or less to taste. An elegant vinaigrette takes the place of mayonnaise and the salmon is a welcome addition of flavor and color. It makes a great weeknight side, and can easily be doubled for dinner parties.

Milk-Poached Chicken with Tarragon and Peas


Photo by Caroline Right

This quick and easy main dish sees chicken breasts poached in milk (yes, you read that right) with peas, garlic, and 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon. The trick is to think slow -- make sure the milk never quite reaches a simmer.

Cashew Tarragon Pesto


Photo courtesy of Food52 user, mollydunkncrumble

Cashews lend sweet creaminess to this bright, pungent, and untraditional pesto while it plays off of tarragon’s licorice flavor. It’s perfect for pasta, fish, or spread over a wedge of crusty bread.

Roasted Baby Turnips with Dijon-Shallot Vinaigrette and Tarragon


Photo by James Ransom

Turnips are an oft overlooked ingredient that pairs wonderfully with tarragon -- the earthiness of turnips is a counterpoint to the springy flavors of the herb. In this recipe, these two wallflowers are combined into an easy-to-prepare dish that will wow your brunch crowd.

Seared Scallops with Spring Onion and Tarragon Cream


Photo courtesy of Food52

Impeccably caramelized, these five-minute scallops are as easy on the eyes as they are on the palate. The simple recipe really allows the mollusk’s sweetness to shine through -- and they’re enhanced by tarragon’s slightly spicy anise flavor.

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