Tarragon-Marinated Vegetables

This is a recipe I jotted down decades ago, but it somehow got lost, which isn’t what typically happens considering my extreme organizational skills. I’m not Marie Whatshername, but I do know where my recipes are and how to keep track of them. Or so I thought…

A while back I decided to make marinated vegetables as part of an hors d’oeuvres spread for family, after remembering this old recipe. It was February, and all I could find were basic vegetables – broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and red bell peppers. Everyone loved them.

It’s very easy to marinate vegetables. Use what’s in season, of course, raw or par-boiled if necessary, and then marinate them. I use a mixture of tarragon vinegar and white balsamic. Tarragon isn’t my favorite herb, but it adds a wonderful sweetness to the vegetables.

You could of course add fresh tarragon to infuse a vinegar, but my tarragon hadn’t really thrived yet.

The marinade is basically a vinaigrette, but with more oil than vinegar, because the vegetables shouldn’t be “pickled.” Plus a little sugar is added.

The veggies are great served with bread, butter, cheese, charcuterie… just about anything. And, they’re healthy!

Tarragon White Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar, strained if necessary
1/2 cup white balsamic
1 tablespoon sugar, or more if you prefer
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 cloves garlic, germ removed if necessary, smashed

Add the above ingredients to a jar with a tight lid. Shake well, then refrigerate for at least a day to let the flavors mingle.

See the tarragon in the tarragon vinegar?

The next step is to prepare the veggies. They all work, but some need to be cooked, like potatoes and beets, and some can be blanched, like asparagus and cauliflower. I prefer the carrots and cucumbers raw.

Cut lengths of vegetables like celery, red chard stems, and carrots, but think about using bell peppers in ring shapes. Then place the prepped veggies in bags and add the vinaigrette. Refrigerate.

Give them at least 24 hours to marinate. About 2 hours before you want to serve them, remove the bags from the refrigerator and let the marinade warm a bit.

Then have fun. Arrange anyway you want. You can use bowls for the baby potatoes and pickled onions (which I had prepared sous vide on a previous day), and glasses for longer vegetables like celery, cucumbers, and carrots.

I’m no stylist, but it’s hard to mess up when the vegetables are so pretty. I especially love purple cauliflower and carrot varieties.

I threw some whole grape tomatoes on the platter for some color.

But seriously, if all you have are basic vegetables, trust me, they are also delicious. You don’t have to get fancy at Sprouts, like I did!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Healthy World Cuisine July 17, 2020 at 6:55 AM - Reply

    Love eating the rainbow! Your delicious tarragon essence marinated vegetables is a delicious healthy snack. Great idea after a huge haul at the farmers market or to keep up with all vegetables growing in your garden. Take Care

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:27 AM - Reply

      I have no pretty vegetables growing in my garden, but like I mentioned, they don’t have to be fancy. I’d be happy with marinated carrots and squash!

  2. eliotthecat July 17, 2020 at 7:23 AM - Reply

    I just bottled up some tarragon vinegar AND I have to make and transport a birthday meal this weekend. These veggies will be perfect. Thank you!!!!

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:28 AM - Reply

      Fabulous! I hope you like vegetables served with way! My tarragon still looks scrawny.

  3. Ron July 17, 2020 at 8:19 AM - Reply

    A colorful plate is a healthy plate or at least that’s what my doctor says. Marinated veggies are always welcome on our plates and your Tarragon White Balsamic Vinaigrette sounds divine. Is that rhubarb in the glass?

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:28 AM - Reply

      It is actually the stems from red chard. Pretty tricky, eh?!! I thought they were so pretty, but didn’t eat them.

  4. David Scott Allen July 17, 2020 at 9:46 AM - Reply

    This is beautiful, Mimi! Unlike you, tarragon is one of my favorite herbs… I will definitely keep this in mind for entertaining when that can happen again. The purple cauliflower really makes everything look so beautiful!

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:29 AM - Reply

      I loved playing with all of these colors. I do like the sweetness than tarragon puts off, just not an overabundance of tarragon flavor.

  5. Angela July 17, 2020 at 9:46 AM - Reply

    This sounds and looks wonderful. I am inundated with tarragon right now, so I’ll give it a try!

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:29 AM - Reply

      Well that’s perfect! My plants are still really scrawny!

  6. Our Growing Paynes July 17, 2020 at 10:00 AM - Reply

    I never think to marinate veg but this is a great idea. It’s a gorgeous presentation with all the colours.

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:30 AM - Reply

      Thank you. I really like them because it’s like having a raw vegetable salad, really.

  7. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats July 17, 2020 at 10:55 AM - Reply

    I’m a big fan of tarragon, so immediately am hooked on this. Love the beautiful presentation. :)

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:31 AM - Reply

      I don’t dislike tarragon any more than I dislike dill. They definitely have their place. I enjoy tarragon’s sweetness, but just don’t want an overabundance of its flavor!

  8. Mary July 17, 2020 at 4:11 PM - Reply

    Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous plate. And I love Tarragon.

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:31 AM - Reply

      Perfect! You’ll love these veggies, then!

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime July 18, 2020 at 7:24 AM - Reply

    I love tarragon and have a huge plant growing wild in my garden. Thanks for this, it’s given me a great idea.

    • chef mimi July 18, 2020 at 9:32 AM - Reply

      Fantastic! Somehow our weather hasn’t been good for my tarragon, but at least I have some vegetables and tomatoes growing. Finally.

  10. Kim Bultman July 18, 2020 at 9:42 AM - Reply

    Your pickled veggie platter looks stylish to me! What a feast for the eyes and palate.

    • Kim Bultman July 18, 2020 at 9:43 AM - Reply

      Oops, meant to say marinated. :)

      • chef mimi July 19, 2020 at 11:26 AM

        They’re really good, too. The stylish part isn’t usually what I do, but I wanted something more than basic.

  11. kagucuisine July 18, 2020 at 12:27 PM - Reply

    What a good twist to preparing veggies! And your vegetable selection really looks marvelous!!!

    • chef mimi July 19, 2020 at 11:26 AM - Reply

      Thanks! I had to go to a store called Sprouts to get them. They’re not sold where I live. Love your blog!

  12. jenniferguerrero1 July 18, 2020 at 7:54 PM - Reply

    So pretty! Tarragon may be the only herb we’re not growing. I may need to get seeds. This looks so fresh and lovely!

    • chef mimi July 19, 2020 at 11:27 AM - Reply

      But at least you can get tarragon-infused vinegar. It was very good, and I didn’t have to do it myself, with my scrawny tarragon!

  13. sherry July 19, 2020 at 12:15 AM - Reply

    these vegies look so pretty and so colourful too! and i bet they tasted fab. i don’t think i’ve ever had tarragon knowingly, so not sure of the taste… must try it one day.

    • chef mimi July 19, 2020 at 11:28 AM - Reply

      There’s a sweetness to it, which is why they’re good in this marinade. But too much I just don’t like.

  14. neil@neilshealthymeals.com July 20, 2020 at 6:23 AM - Reply

    I do love marinated veggies. Like you though, I’m not a huge fan of Tarragon (Jamie Oliver is to blame for that, one of his recipes was over-powering of Tarragon and seriously put me off!!) but I’d still give this a go. Love all the colours of the veggies you’ve used!

    • chef mimi July 20, 2020 at 2:41 PM - Reply

      Thank you Neil! One can really use too much tarragon, if not careful. This is just enough to add some sweetness.

  15. My Little Italian Kitchen July 21, 2020 at 8:14 AM - Reply

    So much goodness! How lovely. Marinating makes a big difference to the final taste. Let’s make the most of all the veg we can get hold of now in summertime.

    • chef mimi July 21, 2020 at 8:40 AM - Reply

      Absolutely! And my garden is finally producing!

  16. cookingwithauntjuju.com July 21, 2020 at 4:03 PM - Reply

    I wish I had all those colorful veggies in my crisper right now – later in the week I’ll be shopping. Great idea to marinate them – I sometimes get lazy and just use a dip. Not a big fan of tarragon but I bet your vinaigrette is delicious.

    • chef mimi July 22, 2020 at 6:55 AM - Reply

      Dips are good, too!

  17. kitchenriffs July 22, 2020 at 9:19 AM - Reply

    Love colorful dishes like this. And SO much flavor. I haven’t marinated veggies in quite some time — thanks for reminding me how good they are. :-)

    • chef mimi July 22, 2020 at 11:22 AM - Reply

      I know! How could I have forgotten?!! So odd.

  18. Abbe@This is How I Cook July 22, 2020 at 10:14 PM - Reply

    I have always liked tarragon especially when it comes to Bernaise sauce. I don’t use it enough so thanks for reminding me! This looks like awesome summer food!

    • chef mimi July 23, 2020 at 7:51 AM - Reply

      Then you should really like these vegetables. And you could always add more tarragon, of course.

  19. Shannon July 25, 2020 at 12:26 AM - Reply

    Ohhhh my goodness what a fabulous idea Mimi! These are absolutely gorgeous, and I can almost taste the deliciousness. Definitely trying this YUM!!!

    • chef mimi July 25, 2020 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      Marinated veggies are really nice, and a great sub for veggies with ranch dressing. If you don’t like them completely raw you can parboil them – the really hard ones – but I like the health factor or the raw veggies!

  20. David @ Spiced July 25, 2020 at 8:38 AM - Reply

    What a great appetizer idea, Mimi! With Laura being from an Italian family, we’re all about the marinated appetizers. Through some Italian meats and cheeses on the tray with these veggies, and we could call this a summer meal! Of course, we’d need a bottle of wine, too. Clearly. :-)

    • chef mimi July 25, 2020 at 11:43 AM - Reply

      Only one bottle??!!! No, that’s my perfect idea for a meal, any time, any day. I just kept this post about the veggies. I had fun with all of the different colors!

  21. The Gourmet Gourmand July 26, 2020 at 1:26 PM - Reply

    I absolutely love this idea! I went to a dinner party once where the host served vegetables very similar to this… I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Thanks for reminding me to try it, and for the recipe!!

    • chef mimi July 26, 2020 at 3:38 PM - Reply

      Sure! It’s really good, and healthier than veggies with ranch dip.

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