Friday, June 1, 2012

Cooking with herbs: Tarragon

I love the taste of tarragon.  I know some people don't care for it, but if you do, here's a recipe I adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.  The original called for asparagus, but (gasp) I'm kinda tired of asparagus.  Plus my wonderful husband likes "protein" in every meal, so I added some chicken.  Here's what I did:

  • Tarragon Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Chicken, and Romano
  • 8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta or elbow macaroni (I used rotini)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for chicken
  •  Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup packed)

  • Preparation
  • 1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain.
  • 2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add prosciutto, and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove prosciutto from pan using a slotted spoon, leaving drippings in pan. Drain prosciutto on paper towels. Add the shallots to drippings in pan; cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until shallots are tender, stirring frequently.
  • 3.  Add remaining olive oil to skillet.  Flatten chicken breasts to even thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap.  Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.  Cook chicken about 5 minutes or until browned; turn and cook on other side until brown.  Chicken should be just barely done.  Remove from pan, wrap in aluminum foil and let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove from foil and chop.
  • 4. Combine mayonnaise, lemon rind, tarragon, juice, pepper, and salt in a large bowl; stir well. Add pasta, prosciutto, shallots, tomato, chopped chicken, and cheese; toss well to coat. 
  1. I don't have a picture of the finished dish, so here's a picture that a friend of ours took recently in North Carolina.  It's pretty.
Bass Lake, Blowing Rock, NC

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