Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

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Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:21 pm

Last week I watched an episode of Barefood Contessa with Ina Garten. She was in the kitchen of a French chef to cook with him. He made a plate of beautiful, multi-colored heirloom tomatoes drizzled with red wine vinegar, then fresh French Tarragon, coarse sea salt and freshly gr. pepper. Ina seemed a little surprised by the tarragon,,,,as I was. Last night when I recreated the dish, I was floored. Why had I never thought of tarragon for my tomatoes. I use in on many other dishes and love it. Actually, I like the tarragon, red wine match much better than basil. How about you...have you ever used tarragon to dress your tomatoes. I used a locally made red wine vinegar and it was excellent.
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Re: Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

Postby John Treder » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:23 pm

Oh yes! Sometimes I put both basil and tarragon in a tomato and romaine salad. Great with pork chops!
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Re: Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:23 pm

Actually, I put tomatoes and tarragon together all the time. A long ago recipe I posted for my tomato bisque includes tarragon, and in summer I often make a variation of the tomato caprese using tarragon instead of basil and chevre instead of mozz. It's most excellent!
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Re: Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:05 pm

Jenise wrote:Actually, I put tomatoes and tarragon together all the time. A long ago recipe I posted for my tomato bisque includes tarragon, and in summer I often make a variation of the tomato caprese using tarragon instead of basil and chevre instead of mozz. It's most excellent!

Yes, it sounds excellent . Even though summer tomatoes are still at our Farmer's Market, I am already missing them because I know the first freeze is not far off.
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Re: Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:22 pm

Dried basil takes on a slightly licorice note that I find reminiscent of tarragon.
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Re: Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:03 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Dried basil takes on a slightly licorice note that I find reminiscent of tarragon.


Certain varieties of basil, most notably Thai Holy Basil, have a distinct licorice note to me that I also get in fresh tarragon. Both are good with tomatoes, but so are thyme and oregano.

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Re: Is it tomatoes and basil or tarragon?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:21 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:Certain varieties of basil, most notably Thai Holy Basil, have a distinct licorice note to me that I also get in fresh tarragon. Both are good with tomatoes, but so are thyme and oregano.

I was hoping someone would say that! Thanks, Mark, for the opening: In my opinion, almost any green herb is interchangeable with almost any other green herb. The resulting dish will taste different, of course, but here we have tarragon on tomatoes, I've had wonderful rosemary pesto, etc etc etc.

I've tried to think of exceptions and the only one I can come up with is dill in gravlax.
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