8 Substitutes For Tarragon You Need To Know
Tarragon plays an essential role in the Mediterranean cuisines, especially in France. Its skinny leaves have distinctive aromatic and flavorful nature.
Also, this herb contains a large number of antioxidants and phytonutrients that have wonderful impacts on our well-beings. Its stimulating effects on our appetite are also the reason why it is often included in cooking.
Because of its unique flavor and health benefits, tarragon might be sold out as soon as you need it for your recipe. Or you may not get it because it is a seasonal herb. In these circumstances, it is important to know some substitutes for tarragon.
List of Super Tarragon Substitutes
In fact, there are several different types of tarragon, namely, Russian or French varieties. And all of them are not completely similar regarding the flavor. Even dried and fresh tarragon already provides slightly different taste. Therefore, you can switch them to make a change, although it is not always the best solution.
This article will shed light on some alternative options in case you cannot find tarragon for your recipe. Below are top 8 substitutes for tarragon that would help you still keep the recipe and the flavor of your achievements
Basil is one of the best substitutes for tarragon. In fact, it is also a very popular herb, especially in the Mediterranean area. You might even find it in some herb gardens nearby. The varieties of basil may blow your mind as you can choose from lemon basil to sweet or holy basil.
The dried and fresh forms of basil are both available. However, if you want a stronger scent and flavor, you should go for fresh basil. This herb is the best tarragon substitute in case you are following Italian recipes, such as pesto sauce.
Besides, it is also suitable for American foods and meets the needs of those who want to try cooking with cheese, chicken or sauce. If you bake basil in the oven, you will see its leaves dry out, and they can be eaten immediately.
On the other hand, if basil is sautéed, it is likely to become stringier, and you have to remove it out of the dishes. However, basil is still useful.
The recommendation for you is to use a smaller quantity of basil compared to tarragon in order not to make it overpower other ingredients.The varieties of basil may blow your mind as you can choose from lemon basil to sweet or holy basil.
Even though chervil is not common in America, it is undeniable that this herb is one of the best substitutes for tarragon. Regarding aroma and scent, chervil surpasses other names in this list as it is very like tarragon. Its mild flavor seems to be a combination of anise and licorice.
Not only can chervil replace tarragon very well, but it might also help us deal with parsley-related recipes. You had better use fresh chervil so that you can get the best taste of its leaves. Besides, it is suggested that you add chervil as the cooking is about to end.
Belonging to the celery family, dill is one of the most common substitutes for tarragon. Normally, this herb’s taste is not close to tarragon’s licorice flavor; you should remember to use the appropriate amount. Otherwise, it might become either under- or over-powering.
Dill is slightly bitter, which makes it more suitable for recipes of fish and meats. If you want to use dill with fish, you had better use only small proportion so that the bitter taste is not overpowering.
Health benefits of dill might blow your mind too. It is a common cure for many problems, such as diarrhea, insomnia, respiratory and menstrual disorders. Some of them are very similar to benefits of tarragon so that you can take advantage of dill nicely.
#4. Fennel Seeds
If you have not known yet, fennel seed is a member of the carrot family. Its plant has yellow flowers, while its leaves resemble a feather.
Fennel seed has been well-known for its various health benefits and versatile applications. For years, people have made use of it for medicinal purposes. You can notice the same taste between fennel and anise seeds.
In addition to medicinal purposes, fennel is also popular in the culinary world, serving as an important ingredient in many sweet dishes. Its leaves are tender, which enables people to include them in soups, fish sauces or salads. Therefore, it can be a wonderful substitute for tarragon.
You may be familiar with either anise or aniseed. Both of them refer to the same ingredient, which is another substitute for tarragon. Its taste will make you feel like using fennel and tarragon at the same time.
For a very long time, aniseed has been used in Western culture as a great addition to candies, drinks, and entrees.
In addition to cooking, people also make use of aniseed to cope with many health disorders, especially related to the digestion. Colic treatment, menstrual cramps, and pain reduction are just some examples of aniseed’s applications in the medicinal world.
If you wish to use aniseed as a replacement for tarragon, it is important not to use too much because the likelihood is that your dish will become too bitter. Unless you are certain about the proportion, you should start with little. Then, add more if you want.
Another substitute for tarragon that comes from Western culture is thyme. Though, it originally comes from ancient Egypt. At that moment, it was used for embalming.
When it comes to the Romans, thyme served to purify rooms as well as provide liquors and cheese with an aromatic flavor. Its applications were various during the Middle Ages as people used it to prevent nightmares. Warriors were given Thyme to stimulate their courage. Thyme also had a religious purpose for the afterlife.
Dried and fresh thyme can be easily found, but the recommendation is fresh one because of its stronger flavor. Although thyme’s taste is not completely similar to that of tarragon, you can still make great replacements. One of the best recipes that thyme can fit is bread.
Besides, meats and vegetables are other great companions with thyme as well. You can expect that its savory flavor can be kept in different cooking methods, such as barbecuing.
While most other tarragon substitutes in this list are popular in Western culture, Angelica is the first name from Asia. It has been very common in Asian cuisines, especially in China and Japan, because of its roles as a medicine and flavoring agent.
It is like tarragon in the licorice flavor, and as a result, you can use it to make your dishes sweeter. Also, its seeds and roots are useful for flavoring liquors. The only downside of this herb is that you can have difficulty finding it if you do not grow it on your own.
Last but not least, marjoram also appears among top substitutes for tarragon. Though, you can hardly find it in winter or most cold regions because it is not suitable to be grown in the cold temperature.
Marjoram has sweet nature, which allows people to use it in sauces, soups or dressings. It resembles tarragon regarding the diversity of applications.
In particular, marjoram is a great choice for people who pay attention to health. It does not contain gluten, and it is friendly for vegans. There are many proteins and nutrients in marjoram to boost your well-beings.
Tarragon is one of my favorite ingredients in cooking, particularly with bread, chicken, and desserts. Nonetheless, I usually experience a lack of tarragon as it is sold out quickly. These substitutes for tarragon have saved me in many cases.
I wish that you could have fun with these substitutes for tarragon in cooking. It is possible that your creativity might lead you to an incredible result. In that case, please share with us your experience with these tarragon substitutes.There are some other awesome substitutes you might care: Ranch Style Beans Substitute, Gochugaru Substitute, Rosemary Substitute