How to Chop Tarragon


Tarragon provides a fragrant, mildly sweet flavor to sauces and soups. Often used in French cuisine, the fresh leaves are preferable over dried tarragon. Chopping properly helps release the oils that provide tarragon's flavor. It also bruises the leaves just enough to fully release the aroma of the herb. A sharp chef's knife is vital, as otherwise the leaves are more likely to tear because you can't make clean cuts with a dull knife.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Grasp the end of the tarragon stem in one hand. Pinch the stem with your thumb and forefinger of the other hand. Run your pinched fingers down the stem, pulling the leaves off. Discard the bare stem.

  • Rinse the tarragon briefly under cool water. Pat completely dry with a paper towel.

  • Place the tarragon leaves on top a cutting board. Position a chef's knife over the tarragon, holding the point of the knife in place on the cutting board.

  • Move the blade up and down, chopping the leaves. Continue holding the point in place with the other hand, moving only the handle end of the knife as you chop. Walk the handle across the tarragon until it is all evenly chopped.

Tips & Warnings

  • Store chopped tarragon in the fridge for two to three days if you can't use it all immediately.
  • Add tarragon to cooked foods in the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time so the flavor is not lost.
  • Never place your fingers under the blade of the knife or on the cutting board while you chop, as this can cause injury.

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  • Photo Credit kitchen knife image by Christopher Dodge from
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