Creamy tarragon pesto is rather unusual. We all love basil pesto on pasta, pizzas or just about anything, but tarragon? Why not! If you keep a few rules in mind, you can change up the ingredients for pesto. The main thing is to use fresh herbs, and good quality ingredients.
Tarragon is a sophisticated herb (after all it is French), with tall stems and delicate shiny dark green leaves. It’s a lovely and easy herb to grow in your garden. In my herb garden tarragon has been popping up faithfully every spring for a few years now.
Tarragon turns food into gourmet dishes. With a slight anise flavour, tarragon is the perfect accompaniment to chicken, seafood, pasta, eggs, sauces and salad dressings.
Due to the robustness of tarragon, one needs to be careful not go overboard with how much is used, or it can overpower a recipe.
Tarragon is such a pretty addition to the herb garden and does not require much maintenance.
While taking a morning stroll through my acreage this morning, the tarragon swaying gently in the morning breeze caught my eye and I decided that I really do not do enough with it. By the time my stroll was finished, the idea of tarragon pesto was born and I am very pleased with the results. This pesto is very creamy and turns into a beautiful pale green colour.
I have actually made tarragon pesto before, but I added too much tarragon and to be truthful, it was a little bitter tasting. So this time, I cut back on the amount of tarragon and was excited with the results. Actually, I was thrilled with the results and I am sure you will be as well! I can’t justify the super high cost of pine nuts, so this pesto is made with walnuts and tastes fantastic!
Tarragon pesto is very easy to make, you just need to have a blender or food processor. I used my Magic Bullet. I froze the pesto in my muffin tins for later use. You could also use an ice cube tray, but I find it a bit too small and you need to use several for a recipe, so I prefer the larger muffin tins. The pale green colour remained after I thawed it from the freezer, so that’s a big plus.
Enjoy your creamy tarragon pesto with a slice of fresh bread! C’est tres bon!
- 1 cup packed fresh tarragon leaves removed from the stems
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about ¾ cup grated)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup water + 1 more tablespoon if the pesto is too thick
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns
- Toast the unpeeled garlic and the walnuts in a small heavy skillet using medium heat for approximately three minutes or until the walnuts become fragrant and just start to turn brown. Stir constantly and make sure they do not burn! Remove the walnuts, leaving the garlic to cook for about four more minutes. Remove the garlic and let cool slightly, then peel and place in the blender.
- In a food processor, or blender (I used my magic bullet), combine all the above ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
- If the pesto is still too thick add 1 tablespoon more of water.
- Store the pesto in a jar with a lid. Add a thin layer of olive oil across the surface to protect it from discolouring.
- Refrigerate, or divide the pesto between several muffin cups and freeze for later use.