Calling a salad dressing a “revelation” may seem to be a bit hyperbolic, but once you’ve tried a salad drizzled with this Tarragon Vinaigrette, you’ll see that it is indeed one.

pouring dressing over microgreens and spiralized veggies

Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs, and I don’t quite understand why it is so underrated. Perhaps that it is so subtle when compared to a more bold and bossy herb like rosemary or basil. Or maybe it is that it has a slight anise or licorice flavor to it. I’m not sure.

I happen to love cooking with tarragon! It is great with meat and poultry. I add it to my Waldorf Chicken Salad, or serve it with Filet Mignon Steaks or Spatchcocked Chicken

But it is also great with veggies. One of my oldest and well loved recipes on Healthy Seasonal Recipes is my Asparagus with Tarragon Vinaigrette. I love to make in the spring when asparagus is in season. And that lead me to developing a springtime panzanella with asparagus and… you guessed it, tarragon!

Tarragon vinaigrette in a jar with a big bowl of salad with spiralized veggies

Whatever the reason that tarragon is indeed underused, I think it deserves its time in the sun. That day is today my friends. The tarragon is the undeniable star of this vinaigrette, and turns it from humble to dazzling! 

Ingredients For Tarragon Vinaigrette

  • Olive Oil: For Salad Dressings, I recommend using a high quality extra-virgin olive oil. Since the dressing isn’t heated, the fruity flavors of the olive oil will shine through.
  • Champagne Vinegar: If you happen to love vinegars like I do, then you may have a bottle of this delicate vinegar in your pantry. If not, you can substitute white wine vinegar.
  • Shallot: Since this is a classic dressing, I used shallot. If you do not have it, you can use a little knuckle-sized hunk of onion, or a clove of garlic. Peel and chop the shallot into a few smaller pieces, so that it breaks down in the blender.
  • Dijon Mustard: As I mentioned in my recipe for Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing, a bit of dijon helps to emulsify the dressing. Which is just a fancy way of saying that it prevents the oil and vinegar from separating.
  • Salt and Pepper: I almost always call for table salt for recipes where the texture of the salt in unimportant. You can use kosher salt instead of table salt, but you’ll want to double the amount of salt if you’re using Diamond Crystal brand.
  • Tarragon: I used fresh tarragon, but if you want to use dried it works perfectly well. In fact I think dried tarragon is one of the few dried herbs that actually really mimics its fresh counterpart very well. You’ll just want to scale back to 2 teaspoons.
a jar of tarragon vinaigrette dressing on a table with salads

How To Make This Salad Dressing

When I worked at a restaurant called Isabel’s on the Waterfront, I made giant gallon sized vats of tarragon vinaigrette for the catering and cafe menus. This much smaller batch makes one cup which is about enough for two family sized salads. Here are the easy peasy instructions. {Full printable recipe is below in the recipe card!}

How To Mix The Tarragon Vinaigrette

To mix this dressing I use either a blender, a mini-prep food processor or an immersion blender. Any of these options would work.

the ingredients in the blending jar
Step 1. Combine the ingredients in the blender, mini prep or blending jar.

I know it seems like an extra step, and extra dishes, but blending the dressing with an appliance makes it hold it’s emulsion. (There’s that word again!) Blending it also chops up the shallot and gives the dressing an overall shallot taste without leaving big chunks of shallot in it.

If you don’t have one of these blending devices, then you can certainly mince the shallot and whisk the dressing by hand, like in this French Vinaigrette recipe, just note it will separate quickly.

Puree the dressing with an immersion blender
Step 2. Puree until the dressing is smooth, the shallot is chopped and the oil is emulsified into the dressing.

All you have to do is, measure and blend the ingredients together. No need to drizzle the oil in, it will mix in with the power of the blender just fine!

two bowls of colorful salad with a jar of dressing

Storage and Make Ahead Tips

  • This dressing can be made up to a week in advance so it is great for Meal Prep!
  • Once it is blended together, pour it into a jar, cover and keep it refrigerated.
  • If it becomes solid in the refrigerator, set the jar in a bowl of warm tap water, and shake it up every minute or two. It will melt in about 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Shake well before serving, as melting the dressing may cause the emulsion to break.

Serving Suggestions

  • For a springtime salad, top tender lettuces with hard cooked eggs, radishes, steamed asparagus and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Swap this dressing in for the one in this recipe for Chopped Winter Salad.
  • For a hearty entree salad: Make composed green salads topped with cooked chicken, walnuts, apples and dried cranberries.
  • This asparagus vinaigrette would also be great drizzled over cooked green veggies like snap peas, green beans or broccoli. Serve hot or cold.
  • Use it to dress cooked lentils tossed with shredded celery root or kohlrabi.
  • Tarragon and fish are great together! Use this dressing instead of mayo in a tuna salad. Or serve it with poached shrimp or salmon!
  • Or you can spiralize beets and watermelon radishes and serve them on micro greens and leaf lettuce, like I did here.

More Salad Dressings

Thanks so much for reading! If you try this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful!

Happy Cooking!

~Katie

Print
pouring tarragon dressing over a salad with colorful veggies

Tarragon Vinaigrette

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: French

Description

This Tarragon Vinaigrette turns a basic oil and vinegar salad dressing from basic to to inspiring! Drizzle it over steamed veggies or any combination of salad you like!  


Scale

Ingredients

1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup champagne vinegar

4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1 ½ teaspoons agave or honey

2 teaspoons Dijon or brown deli mustard

¾ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Instructions

1.     Combine shallot, oil, vinegar, agave (or honey), tarragon, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender, mini prep or jar with an immersion blender. Puree until smooth.

2.     Serve immediately or store refrigerated in a jar up to 1 week. 


Notes

If you do not have fresh tarragon, use 2 teaspoons dried instead. 

If refrigerated dressing becomes solid, set jar in a bowl of warm water for several minutes to melt it. Shake well before serving.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 195
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 250 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g