Poached Red Snapper with Papaya and Mango Sauce Vierge
"Brazilians eat rich and heavy," Eric Ripert says. "I wanted something light and healthy." His idea was to poach a local fish and top it with a tropical version of what he calls sauce vierge, replacing the pickles, capers and tomatoes he would typically use with papaya, mango and ginger.
The combination of flavors here is pure genius. Tarragon is classic with both spinach and eggs, and a touch of sharp feta cheese accents the trio beautifully. Use these same ingredients to make superb omelets.
Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Tarragon, and Goat-Cheese Sauce
The delectably rich-tasting sauce that clings to each strand of fettuccine here requires no cooking. Just combine goat cheese, Parmesan, milk, and some of the still-hot pasta-cooking water, and it's done.
Gabriel Frasca and Amanda Lydon offer infused lemonades on the lunch menu at Straight Wharf. Frasca prefers his lemonade at "face-puckering levels"—hold back on the sugar. But this version has a gentle sweetness, like a tarragon-zapped lemon drop. Give it a try with other summer herbs, too, like fresh mint.
Bubba Hiers, brother of TV cook Paula Deen, serves fantastic grilled Gulf Coast oysters smothered in butter and Parmesan cheese at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah. Bobby Flay modifies the recipe by topping his oysters with a blend of butter, tarragon and hot sauce, then returning them to the grill so the butter melts into little pools in the shells.
Green Bean-and-Tomato Salad with Tarragon Dressing
This supersimple bean-and-tomato salad, tossed with a tarragon-flavored dressing, is perfect for summertime picnics, like the kind Paul Virant's mother would prepare when he was a child. "She would make tomato salad, potato salad and fried chicken the night before, so we'd have everything ready the next day," he says.
Verjus, a cooking liquid pressed from unripe grapes, is a staple of classic French cooking; chefs love it today for its pleasant tang, which is much milder than vinegar. David Page uses verjus two ways here: to help baste the lobster as it roasts and to brighten a jalapeño-and-tarragon-inflected vinaigrette served over the sweet meat.