Here today, tarragon tomorrow

I’ve recently developed a love affair with the herb Tarragon, also known as dragons-wort, a name which makes me love it even more. It began with this Reader’s Digest recipe for Salmon with Tarragon Mayo, served over couscous mixed with a variety of veggies. For being as easy to prepare as it was, the creamy herb sauce gives this otherwise very light and healthy meal a complex and rich flavor. I would highly recommend you put it on your list for the summer.

For the salmon, you will need:

  • Four 4-ounce salmon steaks or fillets (I only had three so I threw some shrimp into the mix)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 to 2 bay leaves
  • Lemon zest

For the mayo, you will need:

  • Four tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • ½ cup of plain low-fat yougurt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon

For the couscous, you will need:

  • 1 cup of couscous, uncooked
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of watercress, roughly chopped (I used about one cup of watercress and one cup of sprouts)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon (or just use about 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice if you’re lazy like me)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spray a skillet with cooking oil and place the salmon in it on medium heat. Pour wine over the salmon and add the bay leaves and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and poach the salmon until just cooked; about five to six minutes. It should still be translucent in the center.

Make your sauce by stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, grated lemon zest and tarragon in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix. While the salmon is cooking, get about 1 ½ cups of water boiling in a pot or kettle. Also, prepare your vegetables; chop the tomatoes, watercress and scallions.

When the fish is cooked, drain off most of the cooking liquid into a measuring cup. Remove the salmon from the heat, but cover it to keep it warm. Add the 1 ½ cups of boiling water to the fish broth.

Pour the diluted fish broth over the couscous in a bowl and leave it for three to four minutes, or until the liquid has dissolved. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the chopped tomatoes, scallions and watercress. Drizzle the olive oil and juice of one lemon over the mixture and stir to blend everything together and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the salmon warm, over the couscous, topped with the tarragon mayo.


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