Winter Tarragon (Tagetes lucida) has strongly aniseed flavour, mid green toothed leaves making a wonderful compliment to the sweetness of maple syrup.
Try Jekka’s Vegan Herb Popcorn as a wonderful festival treat; perfect for a Christmas party or just curled up in front of the TV.
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp (30g) popcorn kernels
- 12 leaves of Winter Tarragon (Tagetes lucida)
- 4 tbsp (60ml) maple syrup
- Heat the oven to 180 Deg C / gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the oil and 2 popcorn kernels.
- Cover the pot and wait for the kernels to pop, which might take a few minutes.
- In the meantime, place a large serving bowl near the stove so it’s ready when you need it.
- Once the kernels pop, pour in the remaining popcorn kernels, cover the pot again, and give the pot a little shimmy to distribute the kernels evenly.
- Over a medium heat, continue cooking the popcorn, carefully shimmying the pot occasionally to cook the kernels evenly.
- Once the kernels start popping, tip the lid just a touch to allow steam to escape.
- Continue cooking until the popping sound slows to about one pop per every few seconds. (If the popcorn tries to overflow the pot, just tip the upper portion of popcorn into your bowl and return it to the heat.)
- Remove the lid and tip the popcorn into your serving bowl.
- Prepare the topping by finely slicing the Winter Tarragon and add to a small, heavy bottomed pot with the maple syrup.
- Bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium heat. Keep a watchful eye on the syrup and continue boiling for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, reducing heat only if necessary to prevent overflow. Remove the pot from heat.
- Then drizzle the maple mixture over the popcorn. Toss with a rubber spatula or big spoon until well mixed. Pour the popcorn onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer.
- Bake the popcorn for 6 minutes in the oven. Then rotate the sheet and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately, for best flavour and texture. The popcorn will taste good for several hours, though it is doubtful, if it will last that long.