Tuesday, March 20, 2012

tarragon love

The tiny patch of tarragon in our herb garden has been flourishing this year (whee!).  It's one of the herbs I am least familiar with, so I spent some time getting acquainted with it. 

Image not mine.  Nicked from this site.

my top three uses for tarragon:

1. For making a nice cup of calming tea

Tarragon tea is said to detoxify and reduce anxiety.  I've found that it's a perfect pre-bedtime drink; if I had a cup or two while watching television at night, I'd have an easier time falling asleep.

Pour a cup of boiling water over a teaspoon of fresh tarragon leaves (or half a tsp if dried, or two if frozen).  Cover and let stand for two minutes. And don't add sugar.  ^_^

It's nice as a cold beverage too:  Let cool, add cold water and ice. Add a drop of vanilla extract or honey if you want it sweeter.

2.  For not-so-plain rice

Drop a sprig or two of tarragon into the rice cooker before the rice boils.  When cooked, remove the leaves, mix and serve. That simple!  In effect, you would be cooking the rice in herbal tea instead of plain water, making the rice absorb the flavor.  Tarragon adds a mild fragrance and sweetness to rice, makes for a good companion to meats (like lechon manok), esp. spicy meats. 

This process can be done with almost any herb actually - mint and chamomile are excellent rice-spicers, me thinks.

3.  For adding a kick to mango shake

To reap the benefits of fresh fruit shake, it should have little or no sugar (not refined sugar at least).  Herbs like mint or pandan have long been used to add sweetness to beverages, but tarragon is a good choice too.

I.m.ho., the flavors of mango and tarragon complement each other. 

Make fruit shake the usual way, but this time, add tarragon instead of sugar.

And another one of my favorite uses for tarragon:

My rabbit Davey loves it.  He gets excited when he gets a whiff of freshly-picked tarragon.  It's a healthy bunny-treat, besides.