Many recipes will call for a "bunch of tarragon" or 1/2 cup of chopped tarragon leaves but it can be hard to really know what that means. So how many tarragon bunches are in a cup? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many tarragon bunches you need to buy.
Since different stores carry different sizes of tarragon bunches and many people grow their own tarragon there are no set standards for what makes up a "bunch of tarragon". In addition, many places just sell tarragon leaves separately and not in a bunch. All of this makes it hard to know how much to actually use in a given recipe.
In order to figure out how much is a bunch of tarragon we went to several grocery stores and saw what they thought a "bunch of tarragon" actually was. We came to the conclusion that a commercial "bunch of tarragon" usually weighs about an ounce and contains about 48 sprigs in the bunch. You can use that measurement if you are buying individual tarragon leaves as well. So for our tests we used a 1 ounce bunch of tarragon to determine how many "tarragon bunches" you need to get a specific amount of chopped or loose tarragon leaves.
We discovered that you would need to purchase 1.8 bunches of tarragon to make a cup of loosely-packed chopped tarragon leaves for your recipe. For more dynamic flavor you can replace 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon with 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon in your recipe. If you are buying from the grocery store you can check the weight on the scale provided or on the package and if you are growing your own tarragon you can just use a kitchen scale at home to measure it. We recommend this one which we use at home and enjoy: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale.
Did you know that there are two distinct varieties of tarragon, French and Russian. However, French tarragon is the only herb that is valued for its anise flavor and aromatics. Tarragon is a member of the daisy family and its name means "little dragon".
So we now know that How much is a bunch of tarragon" is about 1 ounce of tarragon, which is about 7 tablespoons of tarragon leaves. To determine how many 1 ounce bunches of tarragon you need to get the correct amount of chopped tarragon leaves or loose tarragon leaves you can use the converter below.
Various markets sell different sizes of a "bunch of tarragon" and some places only sell single sprigs. In addition tarragon is a popular herb for home gardeners to grow. So with all of these situations, it's hard to know how much you need for a recipe.
However, the large commercial grocery stores in the U.S. seem to sell tarragon bunches that are similar in size. One of these bunches weighs about an ounce. So if you are able to get familiar with what that looks like, you could adjust the quantity of bunches or leaves you need for your situation.
Chopped tarragon is a common herb used in various types of cooking. When we cut up 1 bunch we ended up with about ⅔ cup or 158 milliliters of chopped up tarragon.
Many home recipes call for tablespoon measurements, instead of cups. As a reference, this means there are 7 tablespoons (104 mls) of loosely packed leaves in a bunch.
With our “big box” commercially sold tarragon we averaged about 48 sprigs per bunch.
Some markets and smaller grocers sell tarragon sprigs loose, instead of in a designated bunch. This could be a nice option for a home cook.
We found that a large commercial grocery store seems to sell tarragon in bunches that weigh about 1 ounce or 28 grams.
If the tarragon does not come in a “bunch”, you can use this measurement to help determine how many individual sprigs to purchase. If you only need about ½ bunch, then weigh out ½ ounce and you’re all set.
When you need to use dried instead of fresh tarragon, most often folks use a 1 teaspoon (5 mls) of dried tarragon to replace 1 tablespoon (14 milliliters) of fresh tarragon conversion.
Dried definitely has a stronger, more potent taste than fresh tarragon. So you may want to start with 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mls) of dried tarragon for each tablespoon of fresh to see how that fits your preferred flavor for the dish. You can always add some additional herbs if needed.
Tarragon is an herb with small leaves and tough, woody stems. So before cutting the leaves to cook with, they are removed from the stems. The stems are usually just discarded.
Some parts of the tarragon stem may be more tender and snap instead of staying whole when destemming. When this happens, the stems are normally tender enough to also eat so don't worry about removing this portion.
After destemming a bunch of tarragon, put the leaves in a pile and rock back and forth on your chef's knife moving across the leaves and small stems.
Hold the top end of the tarragon stem with your fingertips of one hand and slide your fingers of the other hand down the length of the stem toward the other end. By moving in the opposite direction from the way the leaves grow they more easily snap off the stem.
Some folks report success when sliding the tines of a fork down the length of the tarragon stem instead of their fingers but I have not tried this technique personally. If you have tender fingers, you may want to give it a try.
When a recipe calls for chopped tarragon, they are referring to a particular cut that is more casual than most of the culinary cuts. This term means to roughly cut the tarragon into bite-size pieces with little regard for uniformity or shape.
Once the tarragon leaves have been destemmed, gather the leaves up into a small pile. Place your chef's knife across one edge of the pile and rock it back and forth, putting enough pressure to slice through the entire stack as you walk your knife across the entire mound. Turn the pile 90 degrees and repeat cutting with the same rocking motion across the leaves until you have the size you plan to use.
The end result of a mince cut is a pile of very tiny pieces of tarragon. Minced tarragon allows the flavor to be more evenly distributed throughout the dish.
After destemming the tarragon leaves, pull them into a small pile. Place your chef’s knife across one edge of the pile. While pressing down on the knife, use a back and forth rocking motion across the leaves as you walk your knife across the entire stack. Repeat this numerous times while turning the knife to a slightly different angle than the last cuts until you are now going 90 degrees across the pile.
When the tarragon becomes finely cut or minced, you’re all set to proceed with the recipe.
Tarragon can be stored several different ways depending on how you plan to eventually use it. If you will be using the herb in a few days, storing it in the refrigerator may do the trick. If you want to store an over abundance from your garden, one of the freezing techniques may be your best option. Also, the tarragon can either be dehydrated or dried before storing in your pantry.
Keep reading to see which option may work best for you.
When stored in an airtight container in a cool area out of sunlight, dried tarragon leaves should keep for a year. Commercially dried tarragon will keep a good quality for 1 to 3 years before it starts to lose potency to flavor food properly.
If you prefer to not store your fresh tarragon in the refrigerator, you can store it on the counter for a week or 2. After you snip off the bottom of the stems and remove any wilted leaves, stand the tarragon shoots up in a container with about 1 or 2” of water in it.
Keeping the water fresh seems to help the tarragon last longer. Since it’s quick to do, I tend to change the water in the glass every other day.
Fresh tarragon can be stored in the refrigerator by either standing them in water or rolling them in damp towels.
To prepare the tarragon for storing in water, snip off the bottom of the stems and remove any wilted or spoiled leaves. Stand the shoots, root end down, into a glass with 1” to 2” of water in the bottom. Loosely cover the “bouquet” of tarragon with plastic wrap or a plastic bag and put into the refrigerator. It’s easy to do, so I tend to change the water every other day to help keep the tarragon fresh longer. They should last for about 2 weeks.
To get the fresh tarragon ready for damp towel storage, either rinse the herbs under cool running water or store as is until time to use them. If washed, gingerly remove some of the moisture from the leaves by carefully patting them dry with a towel to prevent damage. Loosely wrap the tarragon shoots in a damp paper towel, and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should last for about 4 to 5 days wrapped up in the crisper.
After washing off your fresh tarragon in cool running water, lay them out on paper towels to dry. Decide how you want to freeze them: leaves only, in water, or in oil.
To freeze the tarragon leaves by themselves, remove the leaves from their stems by whatever method you prefer. Place the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet and leave uncovered, place the tray in the freezer for about an hour or until frozen. Move the leaves into a Ziploc freezer bag, remove as much of the air as possible and return to the freezer. These tarragon leaves will stay fresh for about a year. When it's time to use, you don't need to thaw the leaves out, just put them into the food you're making.
Since frozen herbs can be used in the same amount as fresh herbs when making dishes, freeze the tarragon into the quantities that you will later want to use in recipes.
To do this, many folks put the measured chopped herbs into ice cube tray holes and completely cover with water. Put the trays into the freezer for about 4 hours, until hard. Take the ice cubes out of the tray and pop them into Ziploc freezer bags and return to the freezer. You can also freeze fresh tarragon for up to 5 months.
To use the tarragon cubes, it isn't necessary to thaw them first. Place the tarragon in the dish you are making and let it melt in with the rest of the ingredients.
Instead of water, chopped tarragon leaves can be put in ice cube trays with some oil. This is done similarly to storing in water, however, they are best if used in soups or sauces, not on a salad. These also stay fresh in the freezer for about 5 months.
Begin by washing your tarragon shoots under cool running water, then gently dry with paper towels. Next remove any larger woody stems, keeping only the leaves and stems that are tender.
In a single layer, place the remaining tarragon in the microwave oven on a paper towel, allowing a little space between them. Microwave them on high for 30 seconds. Mix and flip the tarragon, then spread it out on the towel again. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
Repeat the repositioning and microwaving until the tarragon is completely dried out. It will often only take about 2 minutes of cooking time to thoroughly dry.
Tarragon is particularly used to enhance the flavor of chicken, eggs, fish, and veal. It also adds zest to sauces, dressings, mayonnaises,and vinegars.
To help maximize tarragon's flavor, add fresh tarragon near the end of cooking. Tarragon is not the herb of choice for dishes that require a long time to cook.
Tarragon is a main staple in French cuisine cooking.
Tarragon is an herb that does not require a heavy dose of it to liven up the dish.
H2:How to Roast or Bake Tarragon
Since tarragon is not considered a hardy herb, it cannot stand up to long cooking times. If roasting a chicken, the tarragon might not be added until cooking the juices into a light sauce at the very end.
When buying fresh Tarragon, the shoots should be dark green with no yellow leaves or discolored spots on the leaves.
When buying dried tarragon, the leaves will be more faded, but they should still show a little bit of green color.
The fresh tarragon leaves and tender stems can be used whole, chopped or minced. In order to maintain their distinct licorice flavor, their delicate leaves are usually added toward the very end of the cook.
Since the main portion of the stems are woodier, tougher to chew and bitter tasting, most folks remove them before cooking with the leaves.
A commonly used ratio is 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon for every tablespoon of fresh tarragon called for in the recipe.
Mexican tarragon produces yellow marigold-like blossoms that are commonly used to garnish dishes and eaten to be enjoyed. These flowers are also used in making herbal teas.
This variety of tarragon produces flowers twice a year but the fall yield is much greater than the spring.
Russian tarragon (also known as Texas tarragon and Spanish tarragon) produces many clusters of tiny yellowish-green blooms per plant. Some folks say they eat them but in general, Russian tarragon seems ignored.
The popular French tarragon is sterile so it does not produce any flowers.
When using flowers for culinary purposes, it is best to carefully pick them early in the morning. Edible flowers are normally added to the entree just before serving to keep their fresh look.
Yes, tarragon is an herb that is eaten either fresh or dried. Most folks enjoy the more intense flavors of fresh herbs and tarragon is no exception.
If you have a garden or purchase fresh herbs at a farmers market or grocery, you can dry your own tarragon at home.
When fresh is not available, you can purchase it commercially dried in a bottle at the store.
Tarragon has a higher amount of carbs than foods considered “friendly” but it is low enough to be used in moderation.
Yes, tarragon is considered a low FODMAP herb.
Food is a common trigger of digestive warning signs. FODMAP is concerned with groups of fermentable carbs or sugars that can trigger digestive symptoms like diarrhea and stomach pain.
A diet low in FODMAPs is often prescribed to help manage abdominal issues in sensitive folks. This diet is also used by health providers to determine which foods are causing the patient’s issues.
The answer depends on if you are trying to maintain the licorice-ish flavor of the dish you are making. If so, anise and fennel fronds are good alternatives. If your dish does not need the stronger notes, then basil, oregano or marjoram are reliable choices.
For either fresh or dried tarragon, use the same quantity of the substitute herb as the amount of tarragon called for in the recipe (using fresh for fresh and dried for dried).
As an alternative to dried tarragon, you can use about ⅛ teaspoon of fennel seeds or anise seeds in the recipe.
When replacing fresh tarragon with dried tarragon, a commonly used ratio is 1 teaspoon of dried for each tablespoon of fresh called for in the recipe.
Another replacement option is Fines Herbes which is a commercial blend of parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil. This product is sold in many retail stores and as usual, online.
Tarragon (scientific name: Artemisia dracunculus), is a perennial member of the sunflower family that grows wild all over Eurasia and North America. It is cultivated in other places as well, and is considered one of the cornerstones of French cuisine. In cooking, the leaves (and very tender stems) are used. There are many varieties of tarragon, but the French is most often used in the kitchen.
Tarragon is a culinary herb that is known for its glossy, skinny leaves and aromatic flavor.
The most common type used in cooking is the French variety.
Tarragon is one of those herbs people tend to either love or hate, depending on whether they prefer the taste of licorice. But this herb has a complex flavor that brings more than just anise to the palate.
Some reliable sources say tarragon is safe for dogs and cats to ingest in very small amounts. However, there is a reliable opposing camp who says no, it causes vomiting and diarrhea.
I doubt if your dog would notice that it’s missing from his food, so it’s probably not worth the risk.
The tarragon plant is a sturdy perennial herb that grows on long slender stems with pointed tips that produce long slender, glossy bright green leaves. Some varieties grow flowers and others don't.
Flavor-wise, tarragon has a sweet licorice or anise taste. While many people love this flavor, and many others dislike it. It all depends on personal preferences.
French tarragon is most commonly used because it has a strong, distinct licorice taste.
Russian tarragon is not utilized as much and does not have the impact anise taste of French tarragon. However, for just that reason, some people like this one better.
There are many culinary uses of tarragon. Just about any chicken, duck, turkey dish can include tarragon in the list of herbs included in the recipe. It is also great in sauces such as bearnaise, various egg dishes, fish and stews. The French cuisine often includes tarragon.
Tarragon is heavily used in the soap and cosmetic manufacturing world as a fragrant scent.
For folks interested in natural medicine, tarragon is used for numerous digestive and other health issues.
You can either store them with the jar method or the paper towel method.
Jar method: partially fill a jar or a water glass with water; place the stem ends of the unwashed tarragon into the water in the container. Store the jar of tarragon in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor. Fresh tarragon will last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.
Paper towel method: wrap fresh tarragon in a slightly damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag large enough not to crush the leaves. Place the bagged tarragon in the refrigerator; it will keep fresh for about 2 weeks.
To freeze: remove the leaves and discard the tarragon stems. Fill every ice cube cavity of an ice cube tray with the tarragon leafs, then completely top off with water. Place in the freezer for 2 days; remove the tarragon cubes and transfer them into a freezer Ziploc bag. Store the Ziploc bag in the freezer for 2 months and use as needed.
Tarragon is an herb in the aster family. There are three basic types of tarragon: Russian tarragon, French (German) tarragon, and Mexican tarragon. Russian tarragon is known for being more bitter and less aromatic, while French and Mexican tarragons are described as very aromatic and sweeter with an anise type flavor.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
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