Why tarragon must be on your next shopping list
French Tarragon Yogurt Dip presented on lightly sautéed chicken
Tarragon is an often overlooked and underused aromatic herb in cooking. Quelle dommage (what a shame) because the unique flavor from tarragon can add a special taste to some of your culinary creations.
Tarragon is part of French cooking cuisine
The French use tarragon (l’estragon in French) in many culinary classics. Do you know the famous Bearnaise Sauce? This rich buttery sauce uses tarragon herb as the main flavor. Another French classic is the combination of chicken with a tarragon sauce. Tarragon is easy to find in French supermarkets and at the marché (farmer’s markets). It may be in your area of the world too. But don’t confuse French tarragon with Russian tarragon, the French herb has a more refined taste and is the preferred choice used in cooking. Add tarragon to your next shopping list!
This is what French tarragon looks like:
French Tarragon Yogurt Sauce: perfect on top of chicken and fish dishes
How to make French Tarragon Yogurt Sauce
Don’t worry, this sauce is not haute cuisine. This is easy to make and healthy too. The base of the recipe uses Greek yogurt and it takes 5 minutes with 5 ingredients. You can keep this dip in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
If you are following a low-calorie or low-fat diet, you can substitute 0% (fat-free) Greek yogurt in the place of low-fat or full fat Greek yogurt. A good brand of fat-free Greek yogurt is Chobani, which to me tastes almost like the full fat version (incredible).
Those following a low carbohydrate diet can also use this sauce. Greek yogurt is high in protein and lower in carbohydrate than regular yogurt and other dairy products. Depending on how strict you are, some on a Paleo diet can also eat this Tarragon Greek yogurt sauce (see note below).
Experiment with how to use this sauce on your favorite dishes. I tried it on cooked artichoke hearts (very good) and on green salad with pears slices (good too). I can imagine using this sauce on a hot summer night for a cold topping to barbecued vegetables and fish. Open up your favorite chilled rosé and voilà: the perfect meal.
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup chopped French tarragon leaves (about 7 long herb branches with leaves separated and chopped)
1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract
2 tsp. lemon juice
zest from half of a untreated (organic or labeled untreated) lemon
Mix all the ingredients into a bowl. Taste and adjust for seasonings.
This makes enough sauce for a main dish for a family of 4. You can double the recipe to have leftovers or to serve for a larger crowd.
Tarragon is a herb known to decrease platelet aggregation and coagulation, thus beneficial for preventing heart disease. Greek yogurt is high in calcium, provides more protein and less carbohydrates (less lactose) than regular yogurt. Yogurt also contain live cultures like lactobacillus, which help with digestion and intestinal flora.
If you have never tried tarragon, look for it in your local market. It is probably hidden in the refrigerator with the packages of herbs. If you cannot buy fresh French tarragon but want to try this sauce you can use dried tarragon (1 Tablespoon of dried), but it will not taste as good.
With all good cooking, experimentation is the beauty of fine cuisine. Let me know how your sauce turns out and what you used it on.
Note on Paleo diet: In the strict Paleo diet, dairy (Greek yogurt) is excluded. However, in some circumstances and in Paleo variations, Greek yogurt (higher in protein) is allowed.