Discovering Tarragon

“King of Herbs, tarragon with its gentle licorice, reminds us not to forget that miracles are possible.” – White Truffles in the Winter by N.M. Kelby

My husband and I found the perfect garden spot for growing French Tarragon. Every spring, the bright green slender leaves burst from the ground offering us this beautiful cooking herb. When added judiciously, it has a distinctive flavor complimenting dishes. I have added dried tarragon to soup, fish, vegetables, and chicken with success. However, I am just beginning to explore cooking with fresh tarragon.

This spring, I experimented with several new dishes. Two of my favorite is a Lemon and Tarragon Roasted Vegetable dish from Easy Veggie Ideas and Salmon with Dijon Tarragon Sauce by Des Kazda from Life’s Ambrosia. Both use fresh tarragon and are delicious! I have included a link to these recipes below and provided you with information about minor adaptations.

This Lemon and Tarragon Roasted Vegetable recipe is full of healthy vegetables. I omitted the butternut squash and replaced it with a colorful mix of fresh little potatoes (from The Little Potato Co., Canada). Before adding them to the pan, I cut the potatoes in half. I added two large cloves of garlic rather than the whole bulb suggested. Finally, to avoid bitter-tasting tarragon, I mixed it in at the end.

The roasted vegetables have been served with Salmon and over pasta tossed in olive oil.

The Salmon with Dijon Tarragon Sauce by Des Kazda was mouth-watering. I broiled Salmon rather than baking it. Then I “removed it from the oven and spooned a dollop of the sauce over the top” as directed. What a treat!

It’s exciting to see the garden awaken after the long Vermont winter. In spring, our perennial herbs along the garden fence are the first to arrive. I look forward to discovering more recipes with tarragon and other herbs from my garden. Happy Spring 2023! — Carole

Recipe Links below

Lemon Tarragon Roasted Vegetables Recipe Easy Vegetable Ideas

Salmon with Dijon Tarragon Sauce Recipe Life’s Ambrosia

The Little Potato Co. Little Trios

Eat a Peach, A Memoir

“The greatest forms of creativity are born of paradox” — David Chang

I was shopping at the nearest food co-op and noticed the cashier with a closed book on the counter. Always curious about what others are reading, I asked her about it. The book had an interesting cover. DAVID CHANG’s name was in large white letters across the top and a small figure was pushing a huge orange peach up an incline. At the bottom, the title, EAT A PEACH A Memoir was nestled in a sea of black ink swirls. The cashier explained that it was celebrity David Chang’s memoir and it was about much more than food or becoming a chef.

David Chang’s New Cookbook

As it turned out, David Chang’s story is complex, intense, and extraordinarily adventurous. Diagnosed with bipolar, his life has manic highs, and downward spirals of suicidal ideation. A passionate and inventive chef, David uses cooking and ambition as an outlet for coping with his low self-esteem. The memoir shares childhood memories, his culinary background, business relationships, and entrepreneurial drive. David has opened over 14 very successful restaurants around the country under the Momofuku brand.

Chang’s final pages list his 33 guiding principles for becoming a chef or a cook. These rules are practical. Take, for example, his rule #13, Embrace paradox. He challenges us to reconsider our traditional idea of flavor. Food combinations that may seemingly contradict our idea of what tastes good, will often balance each other and create food that is “both delicious and unpredictable”.

Shrimp inspired by the flavors in escabeche

I recently made a shrimp dish from David Chang’s new cookbook, Cooking at Home, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (and Love my Microwave). It was a SUPER easy recipe to make with unusual flavors! The interesting selection of herbs in Chang’s “killer sauce” recipe made it fun. My husband raved about the great taste of this shrimp dish. It was exciting that something so delicious took just minutes to make.

I’m sold on the David Chang paradox technique! — Carole

Dorothy’s Lemon Garlic Shrimp Over Spaghetti Squash

One of the fun parts of maintaining this food blog, especially during Covid, is becoming aware of other food bloggers both locally, nationally, and internationally. Often a food developer and blogger will contact me if I Instagram my images of their recipes. These contacts have provided me with a sense of belonging and enthusiasm for cooking and baking during these difficult times.

I first became aware of The New Vintage Kitchen and Dorothy’s amazing recipes when she commented on one of my early posts. I was super excited when I discovered that she is from Southern Vermont and had a food blog bursting with recipes to try! Dorothy’s Lemon Garlic Shrimp dish sounded just incredible and, after making it twice in one month, I can assure you that it is.

One of the most interesting parts of this recipe is making the broth. I had never made a broth from scratch quite like this. Making it included adding all the food scraps that we typically compost into a pot– plant skin, stems, and shrimp shells — and then adding water, salt, and pepper. Ultimately you strain the scraps, leaving a delicious flavorful broth that is added to the dish.

The lemon, garlic, parsley, mushroom broth base with spinach and lightly floured and sauteed shrimp on top of spaghetti squash is so full of flavor! (I roasted my spaghetti squash because I love the taste of oven-roasted vegetables over microwaving them.)

Finally, I will add that I am excited to try the other seafood dishes on Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen site. I encourage you to also! — Carole

Photos : Lemon Garlic Shimp Over Spaghetti Squash