Storage Tips: When purchasing fresh Tarragon, look for deep green leaves that are not wilted or brown.
Tarragon is best stored in the refrigerator. Place the leaves in a plastic bag, or trim the very bottom off the ends and place the whole stems in a tall clear container with 1-2 inches of water in the bottom and place on the top shelf.
To freeze fresh Tarragon, wash and thoroughly dry the whole bunch, then remove the leaves from the stems and finely chop. Place the chopped herbs in ice cube trays and fill with water or stock. Freeze, then transfer the cubes to an airtight container and use as needed for up to 1 year.
Usage Ideas: Tarragon is the distinguishing herb in the classic French Bérnaise Sauce and an excellent accompaniment to steaks. Try this simple recipe for Bernaise: in a heat-safe bowl, melt ½ cup unsalted butter. Place 2 egg yolks in a small blender or food processor and with the motor running, slowly stream in the melted butter until emulsified. Stir in fresh chopped Tarragon, season with salt and a dash of hot sauce. Serve immediately.
Another great way to use fresh Tarragon for both cooking and flavoring is to make an infused vinegar. Simply place whole Tarragon sprigs into a whole bottle of white vinegar and place in a warm spot in the kitchen. Start by steeping the herbs for 3-4 days and taste the vinegar and continuing steeping until you have reached the desired flavor, then remove the sprigs and store in the refrigerator. Use this homemade Tarragon vinegar in salad dressings or add a few drops to sauces and soups for an acidic bite.
Fun Facts: There are two varieties of Tarragon. Russian Tarragon has very little flavor and is not often used in cooking, while the French variety is very popular in European cuisines.
Fresh Tarragon is much strong in flavor and aroma than dried tarragon because it still contains the volatile oils that dissolve when the herb is dried