Blizzard Tarrasto

24 Feb

The night before the big blizzard earlier this month, we decided that the only thing to do on a snowy day was to cook something that would take a really long time, make the apartment smell really, really good, and possibly, provide a little extra boost of warmth.

After a little research two clear front runners made themselves known; Osso Bucco or Bollito in Salsa di Dragoncello. It was an easy choice in the end. The idea of a pesto-like sauce made from tarragon made me dream of spring, a very nice thought to have on a snowy February evening.

The recipe came from Leslie ForbesA Table In Tuscany. The meat was nothing special whatsoever. Boiled beef chuck and veal loin are what they are, and no matter how long you cook them and with what ingredients, they’re still going to come out of the water tasting like, well, boiled beef.
But then there’s the sauce!
What a find! Much like pesto, but with a silkier, more unctuous, even sexier texture, Salsa di Dragoncello instantly became an essential in my condiment/sauce repertoire, one the I look forward to experimenting with once fresh herbs return to the Farmer’s Market.

Salsa di Dragoncello (aka Blizzard Tarrasto)
prep: 30 minutes ~ cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 3 oz. fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz. fresh tarragon, large pithy stems only removed
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt

I would encourage you to start your breadcrumbs from stale baguettes. Just take the stale bread and whiz it up in your cuisinart until a nice, mealy texture is achieved.

Either way you get your breadcrumbs, place in a bowl, add some salt and then mix the vinegar in with a spatula.

Whiz the tarragon and garlic in you cuisinart until a thick paste is achieved (you can add a little olive oil if the mixture is too thick). This step can also be done in a mortar & pestle.

Mix the tarragon/garlic mixture into the breadcrumbs with a spatula. The mixture should resemble very coarse sand. Next pass the mixture through a sieve or the finest setting on your food mill.

Finally, slowly beat in the olive oil to make a thick, luscious, glistening emerald green sauce.

It’s great on meat, but seriously, it’s so good, I think you could eat this with anything. It would make a lovely sauce for chicken, or even diluted a bit more, a vibrant dressing for a green salad, or possibly a potato or pasta salad.


This recipe was adapted from Leslie Forbes’ A Table In Tuscany.


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