Monday, March 12, 2018

Tarragon and Parsley Salsa Verde




Every time The Boy and his partner visits us in Tasmania they go op-shopping and buy me presents, which of course I think is adorable. This summer they bought me a Nigella cook book, Nigellisima, and I was delighted to discover a recipe featuring French tarragon, which is my favourite herbe de jour. Honestly, French tarragon, a revelation. Eat it sprinkled on salad, on boiled, buttered potatoes, in potato salad, as the secret magic ingredient in sauerkraut, on chicken, baked salmon with lemon, and chopped up in salad dressing. Yummo. Also, as a perennial herb, once you have it in your garden, you get to keep it and it grows into a giant bush, which is lucky as all your friends will want bunches all the time. The first winter I thought I had killed it, but, it's ok, it always dies down to bare branches in winter. Just cut it back to the ground and it will sprout up out of the ground in spring. Such a gem of a plant. I have recently discovered that it is possible to hack off chunks of the tarragon plant and replant them. New plants for free! Make sure you plant French tarragon though - the Russian tarragon leaf is larger and coarser with a not so splendid flavour.



One morning in summer, ten minutes before we were due to leave on one of our Big Days Out I was whizzing up this beautiful tarragon sauce fresh from the garden, and there were trenchant comments from the rest of the family who were standing around the kitchen saying things like, "Really, Mum? You really need tarragon sauce that badly? I'm sure we'll be fine without it, can't we GO already?" However, at lunchtime when we all tried this divine green sauce for the first time, suddenly the tune changed, as everyone greedily scooped it onto all the food in sight. It was delicious on the chicken salad, and pitch perfect on the home made olive bread with cheese. I believe it was also being smeared on crackers with olives, and although it probably did not get added to the dessert, there was not much of it left by the time we returned home that day.

Parsley

Tarragon

So if you live in a garden blessed by tarragon and parsley, lemons and spring onions, as I do, this is the sauce for you. Just ignore the chicken part of this recipe, and make the sauce, and put it on everything except dessert.

The blonde one is mine. The dark one I have happily adopted.

Thank you, gentlemen xx


9 comments:

GretchenJoanna said...

Oh! This is the sauce for me!! When I planted my new garden, tarragon was one of the first herbs to go in; I knew I wanted to have it always available. Well, of course it won't be available in winter, unless I can figure out how to keep it happy in the greenhouse, which might be a possibility if I actually stay home next winter and pay attention to it. So far I haven't been a good gardener, but this recipe and testimony are great motivators. Have you tried freezing the sauce? It would be nice to have to tide one over through the cold months...

Jo said...

Gretchen Joanna, I haven't tried freezing it, but I can't see why it wouldn't. I shall pop some in the freezer and get back to you on what happens! Isn't it a lovely herb to add to everything? I've just remembered something else I put it on - poached eggs! I guess yours is starting to pop up again now it is Spring for you. Doesn't it grow back fast once it gets going? I am going to dry some for my winter, and see what it is like. Not as good as fresh, I am sure..

Fernglade Farm said...

Hi Jo,

Yummo! Always good to learn a new use for herbs. Your parsley looks really good too. Do you have to water the parsley much? It self seeds here and volunteers, but dry summers can knock the plant around a bit. 2mm of rain fell this morning which was the first rain in about six or seven weeks...

Chris

Jo said...

Chris, I do water the parsley, I have it in the vegie garden and water it all at the same time. It is very dry here too. Hoping for some autumn rains soon.

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Jo!

I am so glad that you reminded me about tarragon. I used to love it, but had completely forgotten about it. And I am glad that you mentioned that it makes a big bush, if I can get some planted. The sauce sounds great, too, and easy.

Pam

Treaders said...

What handsome young men. Anna

Jo said...

Pam, well it is about two feet high at its most prolific, mid summer, then it falls over if you don't trim it enthusiastically.

Anna, to be honest they look like they have been camping for three days, which they had when they took this photo. Must take some more of them one day when they are slightly more awake. But they are my gorgeous boys :)

GretchenJoanna said...

I made the sauce! Last night, to put on poached fish. I bought the tarragon at the grocery. I had a friend for dinner who has allergies to so many things, I was really glad to have this recipe with simple ingredients. I served roasted fingerling potatoes, too, and I put sauce on those, too. It was all you claimed! Very motivating to grow LOTS of tarragon.

I just checked, and there is not a leaf of the plant anywhere in my garden, in the greenhouse or out. :-( I'm ashamed to say it wasn't the only plant to expire during the summer and winter of neglect.

But! I have another chance, and will endeavor to reform! Will get some new tarragon starts soon. Thank you for the recipe!!

Jo said...

Gretchen Joanna, this would be marvellous on fish, mmm. All the best for starting it again. It is a plant that rewards me for a bit of water, and I imagine that it will be quite sturdy and droughtproof as it gets bigger and bigger.