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!

45 thoughts on “Tarragon-Marinated Vegetables

  1. 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

    • 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. 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!!!!

  3. 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?

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

  4. 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!

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

    • 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!

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. :-)

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

    • 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!

  10. 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. :-)

    • 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!

  11. 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!!

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