Egg Salad with Tarragon and Capers

It’s only the beginning of May, but I already face the over-abundant herb “problem” with some perennial plants. Chives, mint, parsley, thyme and tarragon have perfectly survived winter on my balcony and the latter has been growing so quickly this spring, I have to harvest it at least twice a week! When I started cooking with fresh tarragon a couple of years ago the first thing I learnt was it was always good with eggs, so this quick salad was the first thing I thought about. If, like me, you are used to egg salads with chives, add some fresh tarragon and you will be surprised at the difference and elegance it adds to such a humble dish.

Tarragon is one of those herbs which change completely once dried (and by change I mean it loses a lot in both taste and aroma not to mention the pleasant fresh touch…). When fresh, it has a delicate anise scent and its soft leaves are perfect for raw salads, sauces or dressings together. It also pairs well with other fresh herbs, especially chives and grows easily (even on a tiny balcony). If you grow tarragon for the first time, make sure it’s labelled “French tarragon” and not “Russian”, which apparently has harsher flavours and grows much much bigger, so if like me, you have small growing space, you might prefer French one for this reason too. Another tip: growing tarragon from seeds is very difficult and/or long (some say it’s even impossible), so I advise buying a potted plant in a gardening shop or taking a piece of a well-establish plant with roots by division, if you have a kind friend or neighbour who grows it. It’s apparently also possible with cuttings, but I’ve never succeeded this way. It’s a perennial, so if you protect it or move indoors during winter, it will grow back every year.

TIPS: This sauce tastes much better after several hours or a night in the fridge (the salad can also be made well in advance).

If you don’t have turmeric, just skip it. I admit I’ve added it mainly for the colour (and also because I add turmeric wherever I can!).

For me capers are as obvious with eggs as chives or tarragon, but if you don’t like them, replace them for example with gherkins or some other chopped sour pickles, otherwise the salad will be bland.

Preparation: about 10 minutes (if you have already cooked your eggs)

Ingredients (serves four as a small snack):

4-5 eggs, hard-boiled and shelled


4 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon leaves (leave out the stalks, apart from the very soft top ones)

4 heaped tablespoons chopped chives or green parts of spring onions

2 flat tablespoons drained capers (if they were preserved in salt, rinse them and dry before using)

125 ml natural yogurt (for example Greek yogurt)

60 ml mayonnaise (you can use low-fat mayonnaise or skip it and add more yogurt, though make sure the sauce isn’t too acid)

1/2 teaspoon mustard (paste)

1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

salt to taste

Prepare the sauce.

Cut up the eggs (or chop/crush them if you want a chunky spread for example) and mix with the sauce.

Serve preferably very cold (it also gets better after several hours in the fridge).


18 Replies to “Egg Salad with Tarragon and Capers”

  1. I’ve been meaning to make egg salad for a while now. It’s great in my toasted SD bread too for sandwiches. No fresh chives in the house though I DO have green/spring onions. And capers. I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  2. I love egg salad! However, I have just never liked the sweetness of tarragon! And I’m French! I love that you put capers in the egg salad!

    1. Thank you, Mimi. Nowadays whenever I put eggs in any salad the next thing I think about are capers. And it always works!

  3. Chives and rosemary are the only herbs that wintered over this year, but the tarragon, lovage, sage and other herbs are all back and being picked. I love fresh and dried tarragon, but you’re right, there is a difference in flavor, just like oregano (which I don’t use fresh). Like you we love tarragon in egg dishes. I’ve never thought of using it in an egg salad, which makes all the sense in the world. I love your recipe loaded with fresh tarragon and chives! I have 2 dozen fresh eggs, so egg salad here we come. Thanks Sissi!!

    On a side note – I planted some Russian tarragon once and it lasted for at least 10 years and then we moved. It’s probably still there. The crazy thing about Russian tarragon is it grows to 5 feet tall and spreads like mint. When people said they wanted some tarragon I would give them a 5 foot stalk. You should have seen their eyes. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. I also never use fresh oregano. I once bought it potted and tried to use fresh but didn’t like it as much as dried version and finally ended up drying it. I had no idea Russian tarragon was so invasive! I thought it was simply bigger and stronger in taste.

  4. What a wonderful take on an old favourite. It’s far too early here to chance planting my herb garden, I usually wait until the 24 of May to ensure we are far from the risk of frost. I have tried to save my herbs in the past by covering them with dried leaves and storing the containers in the shed but sadly only a few survived. Perhaps this fall I shall try it again with leaves and inverted plastic containers. How do you protect them?
    Tarragon is such a French herb to me, I always plant one in my containers. I too love the delicate anise flavour, particularly in béchamel but I’ve never tried it in egg salad, love the idea. I haven’t had a good egg salad in ages, perhaps lunch today will remedy that.

    1. Thank you, Eva! I discovered several years ago the best way to protect plants (on my balcony, don’t know how it works in a real garden) is covering them with bubble wrap. (I always keep bubble wrap from the stuff I buy online, but it’s easy to buy in rolls I think). I create “hoods” and cover the pot and the plant when they announce particularly low temperatures for the days to come. I did it several times and it always worked (at first I tested and the plants I hadn’t covered died). On the other hand, in my city particularly low temperatures mean -5°C at night, so I can keep many plants outdoors all year long, especially since pots close to windows on a balcony never get such a low temperature.
      It’s got nothing to do with Canada frost, but you can try it! Such hoods are definitely useful (even in cold climates) to cover seedlings when the temperatures are above zero, but still too low for fragile plants. The most important thing is to cover plants before the temperature gets really low, so that the “hoods” keep some of the heat (and to cover also the pots if you have potted plants). I’ve read online some people cover plants with fleece, but I’ve never tried it. Bubble wrap was sufficient for my climate.

  5. I bought some seeds and try to create my own little garden on my window. Will see how it goes. Your eggs look absolutely perfect!

    1. Thank you so much, Katerina. I’m sure the Greek sun will help you with all the plants you want to grow, even inside of the house.

  6. What a delicious combination of ingredients — I don’t know why I’ve never thought of combining egg and capers; to see it here looks so perfect together. I eat so many eggs I could really use a switch up now and then (I only wish I had planted tarragon in my garden! it’s certainly not too late though) — yes, robust herb growth is certainly a good ‘problem’ to have ;-).

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I always like a bit of tanginess in an egg salad and capers are less strong than gherkins for example. I buy capers by two or three jars and put them wherever I can (they have almost zero kcal and give an interesting touch to so many dishes). It’s definitely not too late to plant anything in your region!

  7. I planted tarragon in my garden years ago and it still comes every spring, in substantial quantities. I pickle it in vinegar most of the times to use in Romanian soups, but it is nice to have some new ideas about using it fresh.

    1. Hi Adina, I have never had pickled tarragon (apart from French pickled gherkins which are sometimes with tarragon). I must try it because I love pickles.

  8. Just stuff the tarragon leaves in the glass and fill with vinegar. It seems to keep forever. 🙂 🙂 Use to sour soups. 🙂

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