In the middle of one of my new raised beds is a French Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) plant, healthy and thriving without any attention from me. Although I have eaten tarragon elsewhere (I remember tarragon chicken, but that’s about it), I have never harvested my own, or cooked with it, and so my little tarragon plant became the subject of my first Project: Nosh experiment.
The British tarragon season usually beings in April, but I suspect it was probably a bit later this year due to the odd weather we’ve been having. In any case, for the moment at least we don’t have to worry about the tarragon shortages with which we were apparently beset earlier in the year.
And so on Saturday I popped out into the garden and gave my tarragon a productive hair cut:
I had done my homework. I knew it was harvest season, I knew I was snipping off the nice fresh growth. I knew what I was going to make – Nigel Slater’s Summer vegetable sauté. I had even been shopping and bought little Chantenay carrots and baby courgettes in preparation.
Now the recipe tells you to finely chop the herb and then blitz it with olive oil to make a lovely green oil. All of my implements for finely chopping and blitzing are elsewhere at the moment, so my oil wasn’t very green and the tarragon flavour wasn’t that strong. But my lunch was yummy!
I made enough for two portions, and so one marinated in the fridge over night and the tarragon flavour became slightly stronger. It makes a nice cold salad, and would be good as one dish in a mezze. I just reheated mine in a pan, and that was nice too :)