Horseradish and Tarragon
I’m so grateful for the burst of feathery, licoricey, green tarragon that’s sprung up in the garden. But at the same time I regret pulling up the horseradish root I planted. I feared the thriving thing would take over the garden. But had I let it overwinter, I would have had fresh horseradish this week. It was in short supply at the farmer’s market and food co-op. Luckily, I obtained enough to blend up some with cooked beets, vinegar, salt and sugar to make some festive horseradish to go with my salmon gefilte fish. It was especially a hit at the eclectic seder Slow Food Corvallis leader Ann Shriver and ag economist Larry Lev hosted Friday night. Now I have to see about digging up some horseradish from someone. I think the solution is to grow it in a barrel container, as I plan to do with potatoes, so the invasive root doesn’t overtake your bed. Here’s a helpful article on growing and cooking with horseradish, by garden writer Anne Raver, who I believe is based in Maryland’s Carroll County, where I worked for The Sun. She recommends grinding the root outside to cut down on its pungent mustard oil fumes. It made Dan and I choke and tear up when I went at ours indoors.
But back to the tarragon. It reminded me of to make my mom’s recipe for tarragon chicken salad, which I brought to an Easter potluck we were invited to today. The recipe couldn’t be simpler: poach chicken breasts, chop up and combine with chopped tarragon, rehydrated golden raisins, sliced toasted almonds and moisten with mayonnaise. Season to taste. To lighten it up, I used Greek yogurt instead of all mayonnaise and added some of my home-infused tarragon vinegar for a kick. I’ve still got a lot of leftover infused herbal vinegar I made last spring. Perfect for salad season!