The parts of the tarragon plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Tarragon is used to treat digestion problems, poor appetite, water retention, and toothache; to start menstruation; and to promote sleep. In foods and beverages, tarragon is used as a culinary herb.
Tarragon is widely used in classic French cooking, particularly as part of the "fine herbes" blend, in béarnaise sauce, as well as with chicken, fish, and vegetables. Since the leaves are so tender, they can be mixed in with other greens for salads or sprinkled over a finished dish much like parsley.
Just use your choice of the following herbs in an amount equal to that which is called for in your recipe:
- To substitute dried tarragon with fennel seed or anise seed, use one pinch for each teaspoon of tarragon the recipes specifies.
Tarragon. Though this herb is native to Siberia and western Asia, tarragon is primarily used in France. It's often added to white wine vinegar, lending sweet, delicate licorice-like perfume and flavor. It pairs well with fish, omelets, and chicken cooked with mustard, and it's a crucial component of béarnaise sauce.
Tarragon. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), also known as estragon, is a species of perennial herb in the sunflower family. It is widespread in the wild across much of Eurasia and North America, and is cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Tarragon (dried vs. fresh) This is one herb where the dried is almost as good as the fresh. The ratio is about one teaspoon of dried for every tablespoon of fresh. A teaspoon is a lot of dried tarragon and too much of this anise flavored herb will result in a bitter tasting dish.
Propagation may also occur by taking cuttings from young stems early in the morning. Cut a 4- to 8-inch amount of stem from just below a node and then remove the lower one-third of the leaves. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone and then plant in warm, moist potting soil. Keep the new baby herb consistently misted.
The health benefits of Tarragon Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an anti-rheumatic, aperitif, circulatory, digestive, deodorant, emenagogue, stimulant, and vermifuge substance. The medicinal uses of Tarragon were known long ago and this herb has also been used in cooking for generations.
Plant the transplants in well-drained soil about 2 to 3 feet apart in order to give each plant room to grow. A full-grown plant should cover about 12 inches of soil. The plants should grow to around 2 or 3 feet in height. Tarragon is a good companion to most vegetables in the garden.
Thyme, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, and marjoram are all herbs with fairly small leaves and tough, woody stems — which actually makes stripping off the leaves much easier! If the stems are so tender that they snap, they're usually tender enough to eat.
Tarragon seeds should be started indoors around April or before your area's last expected frost. It's usually easier to sow about four to six seeds per pot using moist, composted potting soil. Cover the seeds lightly and keep them in low light at room temperature.
The true French tarragon is Artemisia dracunculus, indigenous to Russia and western Asia, but has a permanent place in Western cuisine, and is especially popular in France, England and the United States.
As a culinary additive, it is commonly used to flavor soups, sauces, salads, and meat dishes. Cosmetically, marjoram is used in skin cream, body lotion, shaving gel, and bath soaps. Whether used as an essential oil, powder, fresh leaves, or dried leaves, marjoram has many uses with numerous health benefits.
Coriander is used extensively in Latin-American and Mexican cooking. You'll also find coriander in a lot of Indian cooking, where it's used as one of the spices in many curry dishes. It makes a great component in spice rubs for fish and chicken, and adds a nice bright flavor when making homemade pickles.
Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Stir mustard, sour cream and tarragon into sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken.
Some women use rosemary for increasing menstrual flow and causing abortions. Rosemary is used topically (applied to the skin) for preventing and treating baldness; and treating circulation problems, toothache, a skin condition called eczema, and joint or muscle pain such as myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal neuralgia.
Cilantro. Characteristics: You either love cilantro or hate it. Its leaves look like flat-leaf parsley's, but note the smaller leaves and lankier stem. Cilantro's flavor is described by some as bright and citrusy, and as soapy by others.
Cooking with Thyme. One of the many fresh herbs used in many Italian kitchens. The aromatic flavor of thyme complements Southern Italian sauces of hot peppers and eggplants, as well as being a primary herb in soups and stews. Thyme is also said to help in the digestion of fatty foods.
What are the health benefits of thyme? The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping cough, bronchitis, flatulence, and as a diuretic, to increase urination. Thyme is of the genus Thymus.
Thyme is often included in seasoning blends for poultry and stuffing and also commonly used in fish sauces, chowders, and soups. It goes well with lamb and veal as well as in eggs, custards, and croquettes. Thyme often is paired with tomatoes. Thyme has a subtle, dry aroma and a slightly minty flavor.
Spices That Combine Well With Tarragon
- Parsley and Chervil. All varieties of parsley and chervil blend well with tarragon.
- Coriander. Coriander has a rich, nutty flavor with citrus overtones.
- Thyme. Thyme shares a family tree with marjoram, basil and spearmint.
- Mustard Seed. Pungent mustard and sweet tarragon are common prepackaged flavored mustard blends.