tarragon and beets – can’t be beat!

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recipe: penne with beets, pecans and apricots (click on image for larger view)

tarragon Tarragon. I love tarragon. I’ve been trying and trying to get it established in our garden but so far have had no luck.

But it seems that everyone else in Toronto is perfectly capable of growing tarragon and a friend recently gave me this huge amount from her garden (making hardly a dent in her tarragon)

I used some of that wonderful tarragon in our most recent batch of chicken stock.

I had to make dinner in a hurry last night and decided to make my favourite quick dinner: slop. Slop is different every time. The only constant is onions, some sort of pasta and a vegetable.

In last night’s slop, I using a little of that lovely stock and some of the tarragon. In record time, I made the most wonderful dinner. Did I think to take a photo?? ‘fraid not. But trust me. It looked great and tasted even better.

Here’s what I did:

beet slop
(penne with beets, pecans & apricots)

Sorry no measurements; that’s the nature of slop… you’ll have to wing it.

  • penne
  • olive oil
  • brown mustard seeds
  • dill seeds
  • pecans
  • onion, chopped
  • dried apricots, diced
  • beets, peeled and sliced
  • chicken stock
  • bomba*
  • balsamic caramelized onions**
  • penne
  • splash of cream
  • fresh tarragon
  • salt and pepper


  1. Put a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Fill a large pot with cold water, cover and put it on another burner set to high heat. (for cooking the penne)
  2. Put olive oil into the pan and scatter dill and mustard seeds. Cook for about a minute.
  3. Add pecans and onions; continue cooking until the onions are soft.
  4. Add dried apricots and beets. Stir to coat with oil.
  5. Add chicken stock and a couple of spoonfuls of bomba and jarred balsamic onions to the beet mixture. Cover pan and lower the heat to simmer.
  6. Add salt to pot of boiling water (it should be boiling by now…) Throw in the penne and cook til al dente.
  7. Just before draining the pasta, add a splash of cream and fresh tarragon to the beet mixture
  8. Drain the penne and toss into the beet mixture
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.

* Being lazy, we usually buy jars of Alessia bomba. But this eggplant & hot pepper antipasto recipe is very close in taste.

** We were recently given a jar of Barefoot Contessa Balsamic Onions as a present. I’m guessing they are roughly the same as the balsamic onions in Ina Garten’s recipe for Red Lettuce with Balsamic Onions). I really like the balsmaic onions and will likely be making the FoodTV recipe. I’ll confirm that it’s the same when this jar in the fridge is finished. (Remind me.)

In the past, I have favoured using fresh dill in beet slop. But tarragon is better with beets! Way better.

No wait….

Tarragon is best with beets!

This entry was posted in food & drink, main course, posts with recipes, vegetables on by .

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