Tarragon Adds A Pungent Punch

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - August 22, 2007
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Lohi Pinho-McKeague is grateful for the support and love of his friends and family, and credits them with his success. Lohi is a sales associate at Ritz Camera in Kahala Mall, and has a wealth of knowledge in digital cameras, accessories and photography-related information.

Lohi lives in the Kapahulu area and is a graduate of Kalani High School, where he played football, basketball and track.

In his spare time he enjoys going to the beach and drawing the beautiful scenery abundant in our island home. He was born and raised here, and has family on just about every island. This column is dedicated to him.


Tarragon is native to central Asia or Siberia, and has a reputation as a cure for animal bites. It was introduced into Europe by Crusaders after they discovered it in the Near East, and it was being used at that time both as a spice and a remedy. It has narrow, spear-shaped pungent leaves.

Tarragon is used to flavor eggs, fish, seafood, turkey, salads, sauces, vinegars and pickles. Dried tarragon tends to mask the flavors of other foods and should be used sparingly. For the best aroma and flavor, tarragon should be used fresh whenever possible.

Nutritionally, tarragon contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. It is said to be a stimulant, diuretic, antiseptic and antispasmodic. It is also believed to stimulate the appetite and digestion.

To make an herbal tea from tarragon, use about 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water, and steep for about 8 minutes.

COOL SUMMER RICE SALAD

* 4 cups cooked rice (white or brown)

* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

* 1 small Maui onion, chopped fine

* 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled, remove 2 yolks and discard, and cut into slices

* 1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast (Note: You can purchase a thick slice of chicken breast at the deli counter and cut into cubes)

* 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

* salt, to taste

* fat-free raspberry vinaigrette dressing of your choice


In a large bowl, mix the rice, tarragon and onion until combined. Mix in eggs and chicken, add salt and pepper and mix to combine. Toss with dressing to taste and chill for about two hours in refrigerator, covered.

Makes eight servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 200

Fat: 2 grams

Cholesterol:100 milligrams

Sodium: 180 milligrams depending on salt added and dressing selected,so read label carefully for sodium content

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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