molecular gastronomy pouring green foam over salad

Molecular Gastronomy: Tarragon Oil Foam

by Michael Wards

It’s been a long time since we’ve shared one of our molecular gastronomy recipes. While some applications require special equipment and/or training, with a few simple ingredients (and an unconventional ingredient or two from Amazon) you can take your presentation up a few notches with molecular gastronomy at home!

With everyone dutifully following shelter-at-home policies, we think right now is the perfect time to up your plating game so you’re ready and waiting once we can all throw dinner parties again. Don’t be a stress baker – put all that creative energy into something with a little more panache!

This recipe is admittedly for the intermediate modernist cooking enthusiast, as it requires the use of a whipping siphon in addition to purchasing food-grade glycerin flakes. However, don’t let this scare you off – it isn’t difficult, it just requires an extra tool. Think of a whipping siphon as the DIY version of a Ready Whip can. And yes, they sell both whipping siphons and food-grade glycerin flakes on Amazon.

We’d also like to encourage everyone to remain thoughtful about their usage of foam. Try to think of ways the foam will enhance the food you’re pairing it with as opposed to adding foam for the sake of foaming. There are certainly standalone foams, but that is a topic for a different day.

This tarragon oil specifically is great for salads, grilled veggies, or as a lovely garnish on soups (particularly gazpacho).

Feel free to experiment with different herbs and flavors as well! Add a basil foam in place of a dollop of pesto or a chive foam with your omelet! The possibilities are endless.

Tarragon Oil 

1 cup tarragon 

1 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil 

Blend tarragon and oil on high in blender. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

Tarragon Oil Foam 

100g tarragon oil

5g glycerin flakes 

Pour oil and glycerin in a small pot and stir until mixture reaches 140 degrees. Remove from heat and stir until glycerin is completely dissolved. Pour into a container and refrigerate until completely cool. The oil will be thick once cool. Pour mixture into the ISI chamber of a whipping siphon. Charge the siphon with one to two NO2 chargers depending on the desired foam outcome.

This method can be used with any oil and any combination of flavors. The ratio just needs to be 5% glycerin of the weight of the oil you want to use and the glycerin needs to be heated to 140 degrees.

If all this molecular gastronomy talk has you reminiscing on your last fine dining experience, now might be a good time to remember that The Austin Artisan’s meal delivery services and dinner parties can be ordered to enjoy at home any day of the week!

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Posted in: Molecular Gastronomy, Recipes