In Quest of the Green Goddess: Tarragon Vinegar

We’ve been having a heat wave here in the Pacific NW — a bit early for us, but even though it is now cooling down after a week of 90-degree days, my thoughts are turning to summer salads. Of course, that means you have to have some interesting salad dressings to go along with it, and so I started digging into my “recipe box” for some ideas.

I used to clip lots of recipes, but I quickly outgrew the box over the years. I got a Fujitsu ScanSnap about twelve years ago, and I started scanning all my clippings and cards and saving them as PDF files. They are now sorted by category in a Dropbox folder, and I do keep adding to it. It’s a great resource when I’m looking for new ideas for the dinner table, and I can look up recipes on my iPhone when I’m at the store.

In any case, I was looking for my favorite recipe for Green Goddess dressing, because the tarragon is just taking over the herb garden at the moment, and it goes so well with the heads of crisp romaine and iceberg lettuce that are begging to be picked. Plus, my recipe for Green Goddess dressing includes fresh avocado, and it is simply divine. But when I pulled the recipe up, I realized that it also calls for tarragon vinegar, in addition to tarragon leaves.

Now tarragon vinegar used to be available from Heinz, but I haven’t seen it in stores for years. Therefore, I’ve taken to making my own tarragon vinegar… but that takes time. Two weeks, to be exact. So, it seems my hankering for the elusive Green Goddess dressing of my youth will have to wait until the tarragon vinegar is ready.

In the meantime, here is my recipe for the tarragon vinegar, in case you are interested.

Tarragon Vinegar

  •  4 cups white wine vingar
  • 5-6 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 cup of fresh tarragon
  1. Pour the vinegar into a saucepan and set to boil.
  2. Smash the peeled garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife and put into a clean glass jar, along with the rest of the spices.
  3. Pour the boiling vinegar over the spices and close tightly.
  4. Store in a cool place for at least two weeks, shaking occasionally.
  5. Strain the vinegar through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a new bottle and store in the refrigerator.


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