A Taste for Tarragon:Tarragon Rice Salad

| June/July 1997

  • Simple and satisfying Tarragon Rice Salad is the start of a perfect summer meal.
    Photograph by Joe Coca

Serves 4 to 6
Rice salads can incorporate the most disparate ingredients into a harmonious whole: that little piece of cucumber or half a red pepper, the anchovy fillet or two that really should be used, the last few pickles or olives. This salad is simple but so variable; the essential ingredients are rice, tarragon, onions, and celery. It is good with brown as well as white rice. Because of its protective coating brown rice doesn’t get hard when cold. An Italian trick for keeping white rice soft is to cook it without salt.

  • 5 to 6 cups cooked rice
  • 3 or 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaved parsley
  • 1 ½ tablespoons capers
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs
  • Tarragon sprigs for garnish
  1. Place the rice in a large bowl and separate the grains lightly with a fork. Add the green onions, celery, tarragon, parsley, and capers, and toss well. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Dice the eggs and toss them in the salad or quarter them and reserve them for garnish.
  2. Let the salad stand, covered and refrigerated, for at least 1 hour or as long as 24 hours. Arrange it on a platter and garnish with the tarragon sprigs and eggs (if not in the salad).

Carolyn Dille is replanting much of her herb garden for the sheer dirt-under-the-fingernails pleasure of it. Culinary and medicinal herbs have been her special interest for many years. Her latest books are The Onion Book, with Susan Belsinger (Interweave Press, 1996), and Seasons of the Vineyard, with Robert and Margrit Mondavi (Simon and Schuster, 1996).

Click here for more recipes with tarragon from the original article, A Taste for Tarragon. 

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