If the king of herbs is basil, then I would like to nominate tarragon as the queen. It's a sophisticated herb, highly prized in French cooking and an essential ingredient in their famous Béarnaise sauce.
It goes well in veal and poultry dishes and is often included in mixed herb dishes. It is, however, a strongly flavoured herb, so always be sparing with it. A sprig or two preserved in some white wine vinegar will help to give a subtle flavour of tarragon to salad dressings all through the winter.
You can only grow it from cuttings, and if you buy a plant (one will be enough) do make sure the label says it's French tarragon. There is a Russian variety which grows up to 5 feet (1.5 m) high, but has nowhere near the flavour of the French. Dried tarragon is useful – if you steep it in warm water for a minute or two before using.
This is a delicious, summery soup, but it can be made in the winter with two finely chopped leeks instead of the lettuce leaves. Don't be tempted to use stock, as this detracts from the fresh flavour of the carrots.
If you grow courgettes then this recipe is superb for serving the ones that – if you don't keep a sharp eye on them – become baby marrows overnight. If you don't, then this is still a superb way to serve courgettes as a salad with cold cuts.
These lovely, light creams are best made in early summer when sorrel is in season - or grown your own if you prefer. Sorrel adds a lemony lightness to recipes and goes really well with salmon but if you can't find it, use spinach instead.
Chicken with a creamy lemon sauce used to be a very popular dish and definitely deserves a revival, as it's an easy way to jazz up a simple roast chicken.
Often made with chicken, Delia believes this delicate recipe deserves a revival… and who could argue with that? A wonderful combination of cream, grapes and vermouth, it perfectly complements fish or chicken.
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