Tarragon Memories

Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Fish | 9 comments

Tarragon Memories

MP and I were married just after my 20th birthday.

I was learning to cook.  MP was more confident in the kitchen.

We ate a lot of tacos.  His signature dish was something called Eggplant Oscar.

The only clear memory for me, was an iron skillet with sautéed eggplant and tarragon.

Lots of tarragon.

Tarragon cleared my radar for a few decades.









The French Tarragon in the garden has shiny shrubby leaves, tiny yellow flowers and is perfumed with an aroma of anise.

Traditionally it flavors sauces but also fish.  Hmmm,

Fresh Fish Burgers.

Here is how I do it.








I am fortunate to have a source where I can purchase chunks that remain after the fishmonger prepares the lovely larger filets.  Timing is everything.











Jose at Santa Monica Seafood Costa Mesa








I buy a pound of mixed pieces.  If there are pieces of salmon I separate them out.   Puree a quarter of the pound with mustard, Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Usually I use Dijon.  This was a grainy mustard left over from the cooking contest that I did not win.








Move this to a bowl and proceed to








place remaining fish into the processor with good mayonnaise.

I use only a tablespoon.  Use more if you like.

Next time I am going to add some lemon zest as well, to brighten it up.








This time don't puree it - but make it chunky.








Add it to the bowl with a touch more of salt, pepper, and chopped fresh tarragon.








Combine the two mixtures.  See why I used the salmon for the puree?

You can easily see that is is thoroughly combined.

I taste it now.  It is~~ that fresh!  Add more seasoning if it is needed.

The tarragon should be subtle and not overpowering.








Shape into 4 patties and place on a sizzling hot cast iron skillet, lightly oiled.

That cast iron skillet has been sizzling hot for 40 years.








Cook 4-5 minutes before you flip to finish.








Lettuce, tomato, and  a soft 100 percent whole wheat bun.

Rudi's Organic Baker








Move over Turkey Burger!


  1. 5-24-2012

    I have been hearing about these burgers. Yum. I can’t wait to make them for myself and see what Bob was talking about.

    • 5-24-2012

      The fish is marked as Chowder Pieces 🙂

  2. 5-24-2012

    These “burgers” look fabulous! I definately will be making these for Barry and I. My iron skillet is from our wedding…44 years ago!

  3. 5-24-2012

    I know cast iron is great, but I don’t have one. Is is crucial to the wonderful outcome? Looking forward to trying this recipe! 🙂

    • 5-25-2012

      Hi Marti,Cast iron is not necessary. They can even be grilled. The important part is that they don’t stick and brown nicely.

  4. 5-25-2012

    For two years I have been looking for tarragon seeds. Where did you find them? Or do you get plants already started?

    • 5-25-2012

      Carleen, We bought a little tarragon plant. Have you looked on line for seeds? They have packages of 100 on Amazon 🙂

      • 5-26-2012

        Thanks. I will check that out.Tarragon is a NEW favorite of mine. A simple use is to slit a small baked potato, put a few drops of olive oil and a sprig of tarragon into the slit and then close it up for a few minutes. The oil and tarragon seep into the potato for great flavor with healthy oil. Garlic olive oil would be good too.

        • 5-26-2012

          Carleen, That sounds delicious…for
          our New favorite.

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