[Photograph: Lucy Baker]

Open my refrigerator's crisper drawer and you will likely find bright green bunches of basil, cilantro, and flat-leaf parsley, as well as a few wayward sprigs of rosemary or thyme. When I cook, a dish is never finished until I've added a shower of fresh herbs. My latest obsession is fresh tarragon. Its vibrant, licorice-like flavor is a perfect match for summer produce. Here it provides an unexpected twist on classic strawberry jam.

Adding a small handful of chopped fresh herbs is a great way to enliven your favorite jam recipes. If you make the same rhubarb jam every spring, why not add a little lavender? Or throw some basil into your annual batch of peach preserves. No matter what the combination, you really can't go wrong. Fresh herbs add a note of complexity and a surprising pop of flavor. For maximum effect, stir them into your jam at the last minute, right before you ladle it into jars.

This strawberry-tarragon jam has hints of anise and lemon. Try pairing it with goat cheese or use it as a filling between shortbread cookies. This recipe yields about four and half jars. Give four as gifts and keep the half-jar for yourself—trust me, you'll want to dig in right away.

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Strawberry-Tarragon Jam »

About the Author: Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.

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