Herbal Harvest: Tarragon Vinegar Recipe

| 10/20/2009 9:48:48 AM

Patsy Bell HobsonPatsy Bell Hobson is a garden writer and a travel writer. For her, it's a great day when she can combine the two things she enjoys most: gardening and traveling. Visit her personal blogMy garden blog  at http://patsybell.blogspot.com/ and read her travel writings at http://www.examiner.com/x-1948-Ozarks-Travel-Examiner. 

French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) thrives in my garden. I don't know why. Several people have asked me for tarragon growing secrets. I don't have a clue. Seldom fed or watered, mulched, but not otherwise protected in the winter, tarragon likes to live in the sunny, well drained soil of the raised bed.

It is a perennial that I do not bring in for the winter. The tarragon plant, and the whole herb bed gets a healthy layer of shredded leaf mulch later in fall. That is the only protection I provide in my zone 6 garden. The herb plant, disappears in winter, goes dormant, and comes back stronger and bigger next spring.

I use tarragon in the kitchen mainly as a herb vinegar additive and in salad dressing. In the garden, it adds variety and has a strong anise (licorice) scent when touched.

Tarragon white wine vinegar
Tarragon wine vinegar can be diluted with water if it is too strong.
Photo by Trey Capnerhurst

Tarragon has some antibacterial qualities. It may be one of the reasons why, in ancient times, it was recommended to treat mad dog and dragon bites. I, personally, have never had the occasion to need such medical care, and therefore cannot testify to its healing properties.