Substitutes For Tarragon | Herbs To Use & Easy Ways To Preserve

Learn about the various substitutes of tarragon that'll bring the same grassy and wood-like essence to your dish and make it more flavorful.

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Tarragon, or estragon, is an herb belonging to the sunflower family. Mostly cultivated in North America and Eurasia, this perennial herb has been used since ancient times for its culinary and medicinal properties. The different kinds of tarragon cultivated include French tarragon, Russian Tarragon, and wild tarragon. Out of these, only the French tarragon is utilized for culinary purposes. Since this herb is hard to grab, as it grows in very selective regions and might cost you more when you try to buy some, it is often suggested that you go for other alternatives that’ll enhance your meal with a grassy flavor similar to what tarragon tastes like.

Top Substitute of Tarragon: Marjoram

Accompanied by its licorice-grassy taste, Marjoram can certainly prove to be a great stand-in flavoring if you ever find yourself out of tarragon. Furthermore, this sweet-smelling herb is rich in vitamins and minerals, thus it makes sure that your nutritional intake is up to its usual requirement too. Packed with anti-oxidants, marjoram is responsible for improving the anti-oxidant concentration in your blood, hence lowering the risk of free-radical damage and resulting in a healthy lifestyle.

Also Read: 6 Tasteful And Beneficial Substitutes For Marjoram | 7 Perfect Substitutes For Lemon Grass

substitute for tarragon
The grassy taste and anti-oxidant content of marjoram make it flavorful as well as a healthier alternative to tarragon.

Another Great Alternative: Basil

Though marjoram is indeed one of the closest herbs that have a similar texture and taste as tarragon but just like tarragon, it has low availability too, making it harder to get. So if you are looking for something closer to tarragon and something that can also be easily available at a supermarket near you, then basil might prove to be a great substitute too. The sweet and wood-like flavor of basil is great for enhancing the taste and aroma of the dish. Moreover, it is just as nutritious as other herbs, as the collection of vitamins and minerals in basil is also up to an adequate level.

substitute for tarragon
The sweet-woodsy taste of basil is great for the enhancement of the taste and aroma of a dish.

Some Other Lesser-Known Alternatives To Tarragon

Marjoram and Basil are just a few names on a list that contains many herbs of similar sweet-grassy taste. Before we start off with the list, it must be clear that most of these herbs cannot exactly replicate the taste of tarragon. So if you are desperate about its grassy taste, then it would be great if you buy some online. That being said, let’s take a look at some substitutes of tarragon, which are readily available and not too costly either:

1. Oregano

Not only will oregano deliver that popular floral taste associated with it to your dish, but it will also add a hint of spice, which could prove to be an absolute ride for your taste buds. The pungent smell of oregano is responsible for enhancing the aroma of the dish, thus making it more appetizing and flavorful.

2. Parsley

Parsley, upon being mixed with cinnamon, can be great filler for the absence of tarragon in a dish. The mixture is sweet, grassy, and mildly-bitter, which gives it a tarragon-like flavor. Though it may not be a perfect replacement, it would surely satisfy your craving for something as flavorful as tarragon itself.

3. Angelica

Belonging to the same herb family as parsley, the angelica herb, mostly due to its sweet taste, is used as a substitute for tarragon in desserts or cake décor. Just one teaspoon of this herb is enough to deliver a flavorful impact to your dish.

4. Chervil

Also known as Keravil in the southernmost parts of India, Chervil is a pungent herb with a much milder aftertaste. It is commonly used in French cuisine and lasts longer when you take its flavor into account.

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Preserving Fresh Tarragon

As we have mentioned, coming across tarragon for your daily cooking needs might be hard. It has low availability, making it used sparingly. However, you could instead buy a large portion of this herb, and preserve it in a way that allows you to use it for a longer period. Preserving tarragon will prolong its shelf life, keeping it fresh for longer.

The foremost way of tarragon preservation is with the help of freezing them. Here are the steps involved in the process of freezing fresh tarragon leaves:

  • Dry the washed-up fresh sprigs, and without separating the leaves and stems, place them in a ziplock bag.
  • Keep the bag open and let it stay undisturbed for at least 4 hours.
  • Seal the bag, keep it air-tight and place it in the freezer.
  • The freezing requires 4 days, after which the leaves will automatically separate themselves from the stems.
  • You can empty the leaves in a container and put them back in the freezer to be used as per requirement.

Tarragon, in a nutshell, is a great flavoring herb that can effortlessly enhance the taste and the aroma of your meal. With its mildly sweet and floral taste, it brings in a certain natural essence to the food, thus it is also vital that though your substitute may not exactly replicate the flavor of tarragon, it must have that essence of nature associated with it.

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