Tarragon Oil

Tarragon Oil Recipe

Here's one of the little secret weapons I've kept stocked in my refrigerator all summer. It's a simple tarragon oil. Actually, it's equal parts tarragon, parsley, and olive oil - but I think of it as having tarragon in the limelight. The grassy anise notes and electric color of the herbs permeate the golden olive oil, it's beautiful. I use it as a finishing oil on soups, as a component of anything bread-centric (open-faced sandwiches, panzanellas, etc), and as a vinaigrette base. It's ridiculously good drizzled over simple poached eggs and toast. So, have at it, and let me know if you do anything off-beat or unexpected with it.

Tarragon Oil RecipeTarragon Oil RecipeTarragon Oil Recipe

I wrote the recipe below to yield about 2/3 cup (160 ml) of tarragon oil. But you can certainly make more/less depending on how much you're think you're likely to use it - just use the ratio 1:1:1 - tarragon leaves, flat-leaf parsley leaves, extra virgin olive oil.

Also(!) for those of you looking to do a bit of armchair traveling, I posted a handful of photographs shot on my recent Tahoe trip (under separate cover) for any of you who want a peek. xo -h


Tarragon Oil

3/4 cup / 12g tarragon leaves
3/4 cup / 12 g flat-leaf parsley leaves
3/4 cup / 180 ml extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Salt well, as you would pasta water, and blanch the tarragon and parsley leaves briefly, until bright green - just 10 seconds or so. Work quickly to drain, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain once more, and pat with a clean cloth to remove as much residual water as possible. Use a food processor or blender to puree the leaves and olive oil until smooth - at least a minute or so. Strain through the finest sieve you have, alternately, you can use triple-lined cheese cloth. I use a tea strainer. Discard the soilds and transfer the oil to a jar. It keeps, refrigerated, for a couple weeks, but bring to room temperature to use.

Makes 2/3 cup.

Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min

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Your Comments

September 25, 2012

Must have just caught your post on my way to bed, shutting down. Pleased to see the tarragon post because I have a large pot of it growing, but don't use it as much as I'd like to. Really love your herby drizzles. Will put this one to good use.


September 25, 2012

The perfect recipe to use the tarragon and parsley in my garden before our first hard frost! Thanks!


September 25, 2012

This sounds like just what I need. I've been in a flavor funk lately. Thanks for the inspiration and this amazing recipe!


Anjali @ The Picky Eater
September 25, 2012

Tarragon oil is wonderful! I'll definitely be using this on a whole grain crostini with some gorgonzola or brie :)


September 25, 2012

This sounds like just what I need. I've been in a flavor funk lately. Thanks for the inspiration and this amazing recipe!


September 25, 2012

I love this easy method for infusing olive oil. I have been making basil oil all summer, and now I will have to try the tarragon/parsley combination as well.


adam and Theresa
September 25, 2012

one of those flavours you generally don't get much of if you don't eat meat, but I've also recently found that it works well with veggie stuff too. Quite distinct and refreshingly different. I used it with a vegan cheese sauce for vegan-bennies recently.


September 25, 2012

My inexperience with using an oil as a finishing touch to soups has me puzzled - I love love love all of ur soups and recipes but notice that all of them finish with an oil and until your blog I never heard of oil on top of soup? Help!:)

HS: Hi Leah - I mostly use them as a concentrated blast of intense flavor (if it is an infused oil), or just a luxe little finishing touch (if it's just good olive oil), I love the texture it gives soup, the flavor, and the mouth feel as well.


September 25, 2012

I love the light in your photos, beautiful and the infused oil is a great idea. Something I've never tried before.


Janae @ Bring-Joy
September 25, 2012

Ah tarragon, that's one of those that I just don't use because I'm never quite sure where it fits in. Thanks for some suggestions for what to do with it.


September 25, 2012

Infusing olive oil is such a great way to add flavor to your dishes in a gentle and subtle way. I always do red pepper olive oil but will try your tarragon alternative for sure!


September 26, 2012

Ohh great idea, I'd actually been wanting to experiment a little with tarragon but didn't really know where to start.. on the list of things to try this week!


Averie @ Averie Cooks
September 26, 2012

Oh I can only imagine how good this smells. The canister of green is just so vibrant and gorgeous - plants are amazing!


September 26, 2012

Tarragon oil is amazing on fish!!! And roast chicken. Yummmmmooooo


Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic
September 26, 2012

we love tarragon with potatoes, and/or mayonnaise! this would be AWESOME drizzled over mashed potatoes ...


September 26, 2012

This looks like the perfect way to preserve the last bit of summer, not to mention the tarragon that ran wild in the herb garden this year! You could do the same as with pesto and other herb infusions and freeze this in ice cube trays for a memory of summer even in the depths of winter.


September 26, 2012

Now I know what I am having for lunch -Omelette with tarragon oil on rye toast. Thanks for the idea!

HS: That is exactly what I _should_ have had!


September 26, 2012

This oil make a perfect accompaniment to grilled or sauteed chicken and it's delicious in chicken salad too. Mixed into mayonnaise and brightened with some lemon juice, it serves as an easy Bernaise type dip that's great for veggies and potatoes.


Lizzie @ Cairn Ceramics
September 26, 2012

Yes! I don't know why I can never come up with ideas like these myself--so often I get a huge bunch of herbs from my CSA and they sit in my refrigerator, slowly wilting, as I snip off only a few leaves for this and that. I think I'll try this with the rest of the dill I have...


sarah of strawberryplum
September 26, 2012

My garden's spindly tarragon plant has been helping me out all summer, adding unique flavor to fish, green and grain salads, steamed clams, roasted fruit, patio drinks. I'll have to add this oil to the list.


Dawn @ cuter than gluten
September 26, 2012

Oh I am so excited to try this! I love tarragon. And this is so "Iron Chef" to have a colorful oil to decorate the food and add a punch of flavor.


September 26, 2012

This sounds amazingly delicious and it got me thinking... I'd like to try herb infused oils in an olive oil cake. Maybe tarragon, but mint or rosemary would be nice to try. Any thoughts or suggestions?


September 26, 2012

Definitely electric! Had a chicken dijon for dinner the other night with a mellowed-out tarragon flavor in the creamy sauce. Bet a drizzle of this oil over the chicken would be great!


The Healthy Apple
September 26, 2012

So simple yet so delicious. Love it, Heidi!


Caroline @ Pink Basil
September 26, 2012

I am a HUGE fan of tarragon but have never thought about using it in olive oil... must try this soon :)


September 26, 2012

Has anyone out there got a really good recipe for tarragon vinegar?


September 26, 2012

If you freeze it for half an hour you get an amazing spread with no trance fats. I do something similar with basil or coriander - must try the tarragon (:


September 26, 2012

I have a monster rosemary plant (we live in Washington, DC where they grow shrub-size) and I've been trying to find ways to showcase the fabulous rosemary flavor/scent. I don't know that rosemary and parsley would be the right combination so let's assume we would just infuse oil with the rosemary ...Ideas for what would pair well with rosemary oil as a garnish???


Julia {The Roasted Root}
September 26, 2012

Infused oils are tasty and fun! I've never tried a tarragon oil and think this is a brilliant idea. I'm sure there are tons of uses for this flavor....stir fry, bruschetta/crostinis ...the options are delicious and endless!


September 26, 2012

Sounds fantastic. Would a similar technique work for lemon verbena? I've been working on verbena infused oil, but not having great results so far.


September 26, 2012

Dear Heidi,
This is probably one of the weirdest comments ever posted!!! not because of its content, but because of its timing!!!when i went through the tarragon oil recipe, it reminded me a bit of your recipe for homemade bouillon. I've been doing it since you posted it, and it really improved and upgraded so many dishes that i make. i use it in soooo many dishes; not in desserts though!! so because i'm busy/ lazy/ ungratrful i haven't written anything until now, but you really deserve a huge thank you. better late than never. and yes, you have a wonderful and special blog.

HS: Thank you Anne! So happy that recipe made it into your repertoire! It's a good one :)


September 26, 2012

I made something like this (your chive oil recipe but with tarragon) when I had no chives for your heirloom tomato salad - it is beautiful! I love tarragon and tomatoes!


September 26, 2012

I love tarragon and use it with so many dishes. This is a wonderful recipe but I chose not to remove the solids. I have mixed it with feta and used as a garnish. It is beautiful. I loved the tip about blanching for extra green colour.


September 27, 2012

Such a good idea... I use tarragon with fish most of the time.


September 27, 2012


Re: pairing for Rosemary oil

I'd try thyme or basil or mint to go with rosemary. And then drizzle the oil over some lamb...


September 27, 2012

What a great idea! Here in SW Florida the tarragon doesn't do so well but we have a great crop of Tagetes Lucidas (Texas Tarragon/Mexican Marigold) so I'll definitely be trying the oil with that. BTW, we're two of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap so I use tarragon/tagetes in place of that in salsa and other dishes.


di from the culinary library
September 27, 2012

If you have a mortar & pestle you might like to try making it that way. In 'Alchemy of the Mortar & Pestle' , Vol.1 in our library of small paperbacks on culinary tecniques, we dedicated a whole chapter to extracting plant flavors into a carrier oil by using the M & P. We coined the word 'Athereolea' for them and we explain all the different culinary oils that help with the choice of flavor. You can see a preview/recipes etc, Heidi , if you are interested : just search in books at Amazon.com or go to our blog


September 28, 2012

hi heidi, just want to ask if is it really important to blanch the herbs before pureeing them all together? what would happen if i skipped that step altogether?

HS: Hi Barbra, you know, to be honest, I've done it both ways with various herbs. But I love the way the quick blanch brightens and sets the color here.


Chef Mignonnette
September 28, 2012

I sometimes make lemon olive oil but this recipe is amazing, it must bring a very interesting taste to your recipes ! Thanks for sharing !


September 28, 2012

I love how having a simple (and delicious) flavored oil, elevates a simple dish so quickly!


September 28, 2012

Can you by chance tell me where you got the brown kraft label you have on the small jar? I have a zillion of those jars that I use for various things, and have been looking FOREVER now for some simple labels that I like, that are the right size. I use brown kraft supplies often for other things and don't think I've ever come across labels that size?

HS: I'm not entirely sure Heather. I occasionally buy jars of peanut brittle at Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous (the ice cream shop in SF)....and those are the jars - I reuse them for years!


Jacob R Clark
September 29, 2012

That tarragon oil piece was so tasty that after a quick browse through your website I decided to become a subscriber. Can't wait to try that--if I can find fresh tarragon in Dayton, Ohio!


Carol Gnojewski
September 30, 2012

A little of this goes well with the Cauliflower Soup on this post. I added it with the butter when sauteing the onions. I also added a few Thai peppers that I bought at a Farmer's Market and bleu cheese jumbles, which are mellower than Gorgonzola. Made an excellent autumn meal!


Rocky Mountain Woman
October 1, 2012

This looks like a perfect neighbor gift! or a hostess gift! or a gift for me!


A Bit of Brooklyn
October 6, 2012

Ooooh, this looks pretty, and I like what shelly above said about making a cake with rosemary infused olive oil... I didn't realize tarragon was so versatile, I'll have to try this!


October 11, 2012

sounds fantastic and I have everything ready to go but i'm not sure how packed the 1 cup of tarragon and parsley should be. any advice is appreciated and thanks so much for a truly wonderful &interesting blog.


October 17, 2012

this oil is great! dressing a lot of tomato salads with it.

and eating slices of Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast experiments, with homemade yogurt, this lovely yuzu jelly, and sliced Charantais. yom.


October 24, 2012

Not a food idea, but I imagine that using herb-infused olive oil like this would do wonders for the skin (if applied before bed then washed off in the morning so as not to spend the day looking like the Wicked Witch of the West)