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It’s been awhile since I’ve had a fling.  Yes, The Spicy Honey is aware of my dalliance and he approves.  Right now, you’re wondering just what kind of blog post this is, aren’t you?  So, my dear gutter-minded-friends, I’m talking about tarragon and mustard!  And the ultimate question—is it a sauce?  Or is it a vinaigrette?Tarragon is a wonderful herb and KayJay, the love of the Eldest Progeny’s life (and ours, too!), is a fan.  She makes a wonderful Dijon-Tarragon Vinaigrette, a version of which I have already shared with you.  It’s wickedly, sinfully delicious.  This is very similar, but a little closer to an actual Bearnaise sauce, than a vinaigrette.  What prompted this “remake” was a visit from the kids and family.  This version is creamier and quite lemon-y.  It’s quick.  It’s simple.  And, it’s delicious drizzled on…well, everything!

I toss everything into a bowl, whisk it up really well.  Then pour it into a jar, pop that into the fridge and let it sit for at least 4 hours.  It takes awhile for that tarragon to ooze all it’s lovely flavor into the mixture.  Also, the mixture will thicken up a bit as it stands.  It won’t be the consistency of mayonnaise, but it’s thicker than a vinaigrette.  Which is exactly what I wanted it to be.  I add a little dab of mayonnaise, to give it body and creaminess, but not too much.  “How do I use this?”  I’m so glad you asked…the sky is pretty much the limit.  We poured it on roasted broccoli and asparagus.  Drizzled it over grilled steak and roasted potatoes.  Drizzle a bit on our morning fried eggs and sausage, as well as over some grilled salmon.  Oh yes.  And you can actually use this as a vinaigrette for a beautiful leafy salad, or a salad niçoise.  I think there may be other things to enjoy this on that I just haven’t discovered yet.  The fun is in the exploration!

Saucy Bearnaise Vinaigrette

  • Servings: Makes about 3/4-1 cup
  • Difficulty: Shockingly Simple
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  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use “light”)
  • 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 large garlic clove, grated
  • 1-3 teaspoons dry tarragon (or to taste-see NOTE)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons good olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to beat the band!  It will be slightly runny, but will thicken up a bit as it stands.  Pour into a jar, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.  Can be made ahead and will keep for at least 7-10 days in the fridge.

NOTE:  I’ve given you ranges.  Begin with the lesser amounts of vinegar, depending on how sharp you want the vinaigrette to be.  If you like tarragon, I use about 2 teaspoons…if you love, love, love it, then use 3 teaspoons!  I’ve given you a range on the olive oil, as it depends on how pronounced you want the flavor and how thick you want the vinaigrette to be.  This is absolutely delicious on almost everything!

Saucy Bearnaise Vinaigrette Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019.  All rights reserved.