Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

Estragon. Composite

Appears in

Perennial. Reproduction by breaking up and separating the roots before the shoots begin to appear in the early spring. In any case, for the plants to remain healthy and vigorous, the roots must be dug up every two years, cleaned of any rotted ones, and then transplanted.

Tarragon is quarrelsome in the company of the bitter herbs and, but for its role among the fines herbes, is best used alone. Very pleasant when handled with discretion, it can become repellent—and this is especially true in cooked dishes—if too liberally dispensed; in combination with parsley, chives, and chervil, a few leaves, finely chopped, bring sufficient flavor to a full tablespoon of each of the others. It often flavors chicken preparations, either hot or cold, rabbit stews, and accompanying sauces for grilled or poached fish and grilled meats. Crustaceans welcome its presence.