How to dehydrate and preserve tarragon – whether you grow it in your backyard herb garden or buy it fresh from the produce section, tarragon is easy to preserve, and makes a tasty addition to your food storage!
Whether you are using the French, Mexican or Russian variety of tarragon, it is an herb that is a wonderful addition to your backyard herb garden. I love it with chicken, and it is an important component in one of my favorite herb blend, Fines Herbes (tarragon, chervil, parsley, chives), that is great for eggs and chicken.
I happened upon an amazing clearance sale at our grocery store on fresh tarragon in a package, and I purchased the lot of it. One reason is that my herb garden will be small this year, so I want to focus on a single plant for fresh use, and I can stockpile the dried in my food pantry. While most dried herbs begin to lose their flavor over time, I still like the idea of having it already in my pantry for those times when I can’t grow it.
A Tip: The rule of thumb is to always use 3 x the amount of fresh herbs when a recipe calls for dried. You can use dried herbs in the middle of the cooking process, but fresh herbs should be used towards the end for a more flavorful dish, if possible.
Step one in all these processes is inspect your tarragon and throw out any bad leaves, then wash and pat dry with a tea towel, or lay out to dry for a bit.
• Learn more: How to Dehydrate Herbs without a Dehydrator
How to Dehydrate Tarragon
Lay out your tarragon stems on your dehydrator trays. Dry for a few hours at 95F. Check after three hours or so, depending on the humidity level of your home, and if your leaves were dry when you started.
Allow tarragon to sit for awhile to cook off and double check the quality of the dehydration. Repeat if they aren’t fully dry.
Once done, remove the leaves from the stems.
Chop dried leaves into smaller pieces to use to make herb blends or to store for use on its’ own.
Store in an airtight container and in a cool, dry, dark place if possible. I do happen to store my daily use herbs in magnetic canisters on the side of my fridge, but I store the bulk dried herbs in my pantry where it’s dark.
I put my excess dried herbs into a small vacuum sealed bag to help keep it fresh for the coming year.
• Read more: 101+ Dehydrating Recipes
Always wash your herbs before preserving, then pat dry with a tea towel and lay out to dry for a few minutes.
Place 2 TB in each compartment and cover completely with oil or water.
Additional Way to Preserve Tarragon
Consider putting a few stems of tarragon into a small oil dispenser and filling with olive oil. The infused oil will make a lovely salad dressing or finishing oil for dishes. But remember, tarragon can be an overwhelming herb if used in a heavy handed way, so test it first.
How to use Tarragon
Besides making Fines Herbes which is 1 TB tarragon, 1 TB chervil, 1 TB chives and 1 TB parsley, I love this chicken salad recipe that I’ve adapted from my food storage.
Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad
- 2 cans Kirkland canned chicken
- 1 cup plain yogurt (make from powdered milk)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup walnut halves (stored in my freezer – see more info here)
- 2 TB fresh tarragon, chopped – less if you are using dried
- 1 TB fresh mint leaves (less if you are using dried)
- 1 finely chopped apple
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Directions – mix all ingredients and store in refrigerator – serve with crackers, on homemade bread, etc.