Tarragon is also known as Estragon. It is a culinary herb that is used to add flavor to dishes and recipes alike. It is widely cultivated in North America, for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Tarragon has a subtle, but noticeable taste which makes it inclined towards foods like chicken, salmon, rabbit, veal, and more.
Tarragon is not available in all parts of the world, so if you are lucky to get your hands on some and you wonder how you could preserve it? Well, here’s how.
Can you freeze Tarragon? Yes, you can. You possibly haven’t heard about freezing herbs before, but you can. You have heard about dried herbs. Freezing Tarragon doesn’t just help you preserve it. Frozen herbs retain more flavor and aroma than regular dried herbs. Frozen tarragon would last for about 4 to 6 months before the quality begins to reduce.
There is no denying that fresh herbs are the best way to flavor your food. Dried herbs just don’t have that flavor boom anymore. So even if you grow Tarragon in your backyard or garden, when winter is on its way, you would need a form of preservation. Freezing herbs is the only way to keep it fresh if the alternative is drying it out or running out of herbs.
How to Freeze Tarragon
There is more than one way to freeze tarragon. Each one does the job of preserving it very well. But, individual preferences or recipes can be a determining factor in how you decide to freeze your tarragon.
- Freeze Drying Tarragon
- Freezing Tarragon into Cubes
Freeze Drying Tarragon
This should be tagged the lazy way. But you see, freezing tarragon is so easy that it takes almost no effort at all. Regardless, the process of freezing must be properly done to allow for easy use after freezing. In a few steps, here is how to dry-freeze tarragon.
Step 1: Washing the Herbs
Vegetables should always be washed before cooking or eating them. They have no outer skin or covers like other fruits or food items so they are exposed to unknown elements. Washing and rinsing help you wash off not only dirt and debris but also residual traces of fertilizers or chemicals that could have been sprayed on the vegetables. The same goes for herbs.
In order to take care of the germs that water might not remove or kill, you can add a little bit of vinegar to the vegetables as you wash them. After washing, rinse the herbs and dry them.
Step 2: Flash-freezing
Measurement is very important when it comes to following recipes. So, it is important to make sure that the herbs do not stick together upon freezing. This makes the measurement easier to carry out than when it’s clumped together.
Get a baking sheet and line it with Clingfilm. Spread the tarragon on the sheets and place it in the freezer till it freezes solid.
Step 3: Storage
Put the frozen herbs into resealable bags or an airtight container. Ziploc bags or Vacuum sealers will do just fine.
Don’t forget to label the bags, stating the content and the date of the freeze. This will help you keep track of how long you have stored it. Keeping food items for too long in the freezer can give them freezer burn.
Freezing Tarragon into Cubes
Freezing Tarragon into cubes is a great idea. You can think of them like you would think of seasoning cubes. It is wonderful for long-cooking dishes. It is also great for pasta, chicken, and soups.
Step 1: Preparation
Always wash your greens, vegetables, or herbs. That is the first step before embarking on anything else. Wash the herbs, rinse them, and spread them on a kitchen towel to dry.
Step 2: Strip the Leaves from the Stem
The stem of the tarragon won’t let it fit into the ice cube maker. So, we have to strip the important part of the herb, which is the leaves from the stem.
Pinch the leaves in between your fingers and rip them off. You can discard the stems at this point, as they are of no use to you at this point.
Step 3: Preparation
Tarragon can be frozen in water or oil. I recommend that you freeze separately in both oil and water. This is because of recipes that do not require oil in them.
Put the tarragon leaves into the ice cube maker and fill it with oil or water till the leaves are completely immersed in them. Put the Ice cube making tray into the freezer and leave it till it freezes solid.
Step 4: Storage
After the tarragon leaves have been frozen into cubes, put the cubes into airtight freezer containers or Ziploc bags. Mark the bags with the contents and the date of the freeze. Place them into the freezer to freeze long term.
How to Defrost Frozen Tarragon
Freeze-dried Tarragon herbs can be used frozen or left in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Tarragon frozen in oil can be thrown into a pan to defrost and cook. Tarragon frozen in water can be left in a strainer to thaw on the counter.
How Can You Tell if Tarragon is Spoiled?
Tarragon that is spoiled will be soft and discolored. Discard any tarragon that has an off appearance or smell.