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Tarragon: a favourite of french chefs - landscaping-gardening


Long a favourite of French chefs, the herb Artemisia dracunculus, known as French tarragon or dragon herb is an critical ingredient in Béarnaise sauce, tarragon vinegar, and a selection of Dijon mustards. A continuing herb, tarragon grows 2 - 4 feet (60 - 120 cm) and has dark, shiny, narrow grey-green trees about 3 inches (8 cm) long with efficient edges. Tarragon produces tiny blond plants and has stems that are ridged, round, branching, and light green. Tarragon is rich in Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, and potassium, and has a mild anise flavour in its leaves.

Although it is not the easiest of herbs to grow, tarragon can be grown in containers. Plant into a pot 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter or larger. Acquire plants from your greenhouse, plot catalogue, or breed by cuttings or root division. Do not asset seeds, as they are in the main sterile. If potting up outside plants for enclosed use, plant by mid-summer. The plants must be exposed to cold, at least 4° C (39° F) for a month beforehand bringing inside, as the plants call for a episode of dormancy.

Tarragon grows best in full sun even though it will tolerate filtered sun. This plant likes warm, dry, well-drained, light soils. Do not overwater as tarragon is susceptible to root rot in soggy soil. Indoors, tarragon requires 5 hours of aim sunlight a day. Place in an eastern or southern exposure and turn plants commonly to guarantee all sides catch equal light. If increasing under fluorescents, hang light 6 inches (15 cm) above plants and leave on 14 hours a day.

In the garden, tarragon is a good companion to all plants. In the kitchen, tarragon is a touch very elite and especially good for flavouring vinegar. To make tarragon vinegar, place a large sprig in a clean container or glass jar, bring white wine vinegar to a boil and pour in an adequate amount to cover. Seal and store away from light. In addendum to the above, other uses for tarragon include: hollandaise sauce, tartar sauce, vinaigrettes, seafood salads, dressings for tossed green salads, tomato soup, chicken broth, seafood cocktails, jumbled eggs, omelettes, spinach and flourish dishes, meat dishes, fish, veal, poultry, mustard sauces, and quiche. Add a few plants of tarragon to the boiling water of spinach, tomatoes, peas, cauliflower, and cabbage to enhance their flavour. When baking vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, peas, and summer squash, flavor them with tarragon butter. To make tarragon butter, mix as one 2 tbsp. (30 mL) butter to 1 tsp. (5 mL) diaphanously chopped tarragon, 1 tsp. (5 mL) newly squeezed lemon juice, and sea salt to taste. This butter can be stored in the freezer.

Use tarragon scarcely as it has a flavour that diffuses briefly all the way through dishes. Add the foliage when your dish is just about ready to serve as tarragon takes but a few log of cooking time. Tarragon can be stored fresh in a false bag in the refrigerator, frozen in ice cubes trays, or preserved in white wine vinegar or oil and packed in sealed, clear jars. Tarragon can also be dried in a warm, well-ventilated place. Strip the plants from the stems ahead of storing. Dried foliage ought to be kept in a cool, rather dark place in sealed containers.

Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B. S. W. , M. G. , H. T. , is an educator, casual writer, patch consultant, and creator of the book The Curative Garden: A Place Of Peace - Crop growing For The Soil, Agriculture For The Soul and the booklet Non-toxic Alternatives For Everyday Cleaning And Agriculture Products. She owns the website Gwen's Remedial Plot where you will find lots of free in sequence about crop growing for the soil and agriculture for the soul. To find out more about the books and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit http://www. gwenshealinggarden. ca

Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 - 2005. All constitutional rights reserved.


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