Each year when the tarragon puts out its first flush of new growth after hibernating all winter I make tarragon vinegar. This is not hard to do and the resulting product is, I think, superior to the expensive, hard to find store bought alternative.
Tarragon is one of the classic French cooking herbs with a lively licorice / aniseed flavour which it imparts to the vinegar.
The resulting product can be used in salad dressing or over steamed vegetables, but our main use is in the production of Béarnaise sauce, which we use on fillets of beef, fillet mignon, fish and poached eggs and asparagus in place of hollandaise.
This year I made an extra bottle so I could do some up as Christmas gifts after a friend was telling me the trouble she was having finding tarragon vinegar to purchase.
So how to make Tarragon vinegar?
Make sure you have true French Tarragon, you can buy Russian and Mexican but neither taste anywhere near as good as the French. It has small narrow grey-green leaves and is very pungent.
What you need:
– One bottle of good quality white vinegar. I prefer to buy vinegar in glass bottles, so Cornwells is an easy choice.
– ¼ cup of finely chopped tarragon.
What to do:
Place chopped tarragon in the bottle and shake well.
Put the lid back on and place in a cool dark place for several weeks shaking every few days.
After several weeks the vinegar can be strained and used as necessary.
How to turn your vinegar into a gift.
Gather what you need.
• Your fermenting Tarragon vinegar.
• Several sprigs of fresh tarragon.
• Jug and strainer.
• Several nice resealable bottles, washed, dried and price tags removed.
• Tags and ribbon – depending on the occasion.
• Copy of your favourite tarragon vinegar recipe, like Bearnaise Sauce, or a great salad dressing – these I fold and place in attractive envelops.
What to do
• Strain vinegar to remove chopped tarragon.
• Place fresh tarragon sprig in the bottles.
• Fill with vinegar.
• Attached tag and recipe.
Voila!- The perfect gift for the gourmet cook for under $4.00.
Are you making you own Christmas Gifts this year? Or are you making a big family meal from your garden? Either way, I would love you to share with the group!
Simply post a photo onto the Facebook Page, or show me your Pinterest Board! I would love to see what everyone is doing for this wonderful festive season!