Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tantalizing tarragon

by Francine

photo via
It's amazing the variety of health benefits we get from herbs. As I read more about the wonders of these delicate green leafy plants that flavor our cooking and do such good to our bodies, I begin to understand why ancient cultures were so in awe and so respectful of herbalists, and why herbalists were viewed as belonging to a class all their own. And remember that those poor maligned witches were associated with wild herbs and cures. Amazing that people were so in fear of precisely what they needed to cure themselves. . .

Widely used in cooking, tarragon has a long history of medicinal use. The ancient Greeks chewed tarragon leaves to treat toothaches. The herb was used during the Middle Ages as an antidote for poisonous snakebites. Tarragon has also been used as a digestive aid, mild sedative, and as a heart disease prevention aid. It also has a long history of treating stomach cramps and promoting the appetite.

Tarragon is known to help fight off fatigue and calm the nerves. Tarragon promotes the production of bile by the liver, which aids in digestion and helps speed the process of eliminating toxic waste in the body. Tarragon offers healing properties for the stomach and liver. People with high blood pressure can use tarragon as a salt substitute. Tarragon is reputed to be a mild sedative and has been taken to aid sleep. Tarragon is extremely valuable in fighting intestinal worms.

Tarragon is commonly used as a flavoring for vinegar, pickles, relishes, prepared mustards, and sauces. Tarragon leaves have a sweet flavor similar to anise or licorice. The herb also blends well with other spices and herbs; particularly chervil, parsley, and chives. Tarragon complements fish, meat, chicken, tofu, soups and stews, and is frequently used in tomato and egg dishes.

Tarragon Tofu
Prep: 5 min, Cook: 20 min.
  • 1 lb. firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1 inch slices (use Tofu Yu plain, pesto, or pepper tofu
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh Roma tomatoes crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon, or 1-1/2 tsp. fresh, chopped (fresh if possible)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt* (optional), or to taste (can also use small amount of crushed garlic which provides zing)
  • 2 Tbs. olive or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange tofu in an oiled baking dish. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle with tarragon, salt (and/or garlic) and pepper to taste. Dot with oil and bake 20-25 minutes or until heated throughout.

*Remember--tarragon in itself is a salt substitute


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