Sunday, September 9, 2012

Drink of the Week |Calming Tarragon Cucumber Juice with Sago

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I have a lot of tarragons growing in a pot and so far I have used it in vegetable stir-fries, and in inun-unan (paksiw) to remove the “langsa” of the fish. The aroma is strong yet calming so I prefer to use it as a warm tea every after meal.

Tarragon is a popular culinary herb in Mediterranean cuisine, and considered one of the four fine herbs in French cooking. It is best for chicken, egg and fish dishes. Here in the Philippines, this is used mainly as a medicinal plant rather than for culinary: it is said to remedy stomach pains, flatulence and to stimulate appetite. This herb is very rich source of Vitamin C, A, and B-complex that functions as anti-oxidants. It also is a good source of Calcium, potassium, Zinc, Iron and Magnesium (www.nutrition-and-you.com)

 

I concocted this drink in mind to tickle your sense of taste as well as your sense of smell. Tarragon gives that soothing aroma, while the cucumber, full of valuable mineral potassium just like bananas, will give you that pleasant, clean taste. Potassium according to my book, Juicing Smoothies and Blended Drinks, is a mineral needed for healthy nerves, brain health and good kidney function. It counterbalances sodium from salt and helps to lower blood cholesterol. And added here are the tiny tapioca pearls for that added texture and gustatory experience.

Here’s how to prepare:

1. Boil 3 cups of water and drop a few stalks and leaves of tarragon. Let it steep for a few minutes before removing from fire.

2. Sweeten it with 6 tablespoons of wild honey (in this case, I used the one I bought from Bohol Bee Farm). Adjust the taste as needed.

3. Let it cool to room temperature, or better chill it in the refrigerator.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the sago pearls. Boil one liter of water and add half cup of dried colorless tapioca pearls. Make sure to stir the bottom of the pan from time to time to prevent it from sticking, simmer it in a moderate heat for at least 20 minutes or until no white speck is visible in the pearls. Using a strainer, drain liquid and flush in running water so as not to cook further. Set aside.

5. Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch thick, the length should be an inch taller than the glass. Remove the seeds and retain the skin. Set aside and chill.

6. Fill ¼ of the glass with sago, insert at least two strips of cucumber, place ice cubes and pour the sweetened tarragon juice. Let the flavors of cucumber and tarragon combine for a few minutes before serving.

7. Garnish with fresh tarragon leaves, or fresh mint leaves if desired.

The cucumber strips will also double as swizzle sticks. Enjoy this healthy drink!

2 comments:

  1. hi what kind of tarragon do you have? i'm asking because i read that french tarragon is superior in flavor compared to russian tarragon. i recently bought tarragon from metro ayala grocery but the label says simply tarragon so i have no way of knowing if it is the french or russian variety. but it sure looks like the picture you posted above. i'd appreciate an answer on my query. god bless!

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  2. Hi, from the beginning I also had difficulty identifying varieties of tarragon since by experience, I have only seen one. I cant determine between the two, but all I can say the tarragons we have here in Cebu have this strong aroma that is sometimes too nauseating. Dont worry once I stumble upon a right person who is into identifying herbs, will let you know.

    I am already contented with my tarragons right now as they gave me the flavor, aroma, taste that I want. I dont want an herb that is too empowering.

    happy cooking/planting!
    -red

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