Tarragon, an herb popular in France, is of Arab origin and was introduced to the European table by Crusaders stopping in Venice on their return from Jerusalem. It provides the aromatic grace note for the beef carpaccio with its peppery edge. The dressing calls for a raw egg yolk. It is best to use organic eggs.
- 1 egg yolk large
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 shallot very finely minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
- Beat the eggs with the mustard in a medium-size bowl.
- Beat in the lemon juice, shallot, and tarragon.
- Place the bowl on a pot holder or a folded cloth so it is stable. Then, beating constantly with a whisk, pour in about half the oil in a very thin stream. The mixture should thicken like a mayonnaise.
- Once about half the oil has been added, beat the mixture for a minute or so until it begins to lighten in color. Then add the remaining oil in a stream still beating constantly.
- When all the oil has been added, continue beating for a few seconds, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in the water.