THE TROUBLE WITH TARRAGON is that we grow it, but rarely use it. Well, that was my great transgression, anyway, until I discovered Tarragon Mayonnaise. This rich, creamy, anise-flavored sauce turns ordinary potato salad into something extraordinarily chic:
Ingredients for about 2 cups
1 large egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice OR white wine vinegar OR Chive Blossom Vinegar
2 cups safflower, canola, or olive oil (use one kind or a mixture)
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves (use more if you want a greener, more tarragon-y tasting mayo)
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground white pepper
A food processor, with steel blade attached
Preparing the base — In the bowl of your food processor, place the whole egg, the yolks, the teaspoon of mustard and the tarragon leaves. Process for 15 seconds. Add the vinegar, salt, and white pepper; process for 10 seconds.
Adding the Oil — With the machine on, add oil in droplets at first, until you notice the sauce is thickening. Then add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream. The finished sauce should hold its shape when turned sideways in a spoon, as pictured above.
Scrape the sauce into a screw-top jar and immediately refrigerate. Well chilled, Tarragon Mayonnaise will keep safely for up to 4 days.
Serving — Use as a sauce for fresh, steamed green beans or or sauteed mushrooms. It is marvelous as a dipping sauce for steamed artichoke leaves. And, as I have already suggested, you won’t find a more flavorful binding agent for the good ol’ salad standbys — potato, chicken or egg.
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