Herb Butter (It's Good on Everything)
Herb butter is a great way to use up extra sprigs of herbs that might be hanging around, especially if the leaves are wilted and sad. Don't throw them out; mix them into this easy butter and they'll last for months! You can use one single herb or mix multiple herbs - cilantro, parsley, dill, chives, oregano, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary - you get the idea.
You'll also need butter at room temperature so it's mixable (the waiting is usually the hardest part about making this). Plus kosher salt, and that's about it. Using unsalted butter means you can control the salt level yourself, but if you only have salted butter, that'll work too.
The Rough Recipe
- 1 cup or so of herbs of your choice, finely chopped. If you have only 1/4 cup of herbs, that'll work too. It just depends on what you have and how herby you want your herb butter to be.
- 1 stick of butter at room temperature
- Kosher salt
Other delicious additions:
- minced garlic (or garlic scapes or green garlic)
- citrus zest and/or juice
- freshly ground pepper
- finely minced alliums such scallions, shallots, etc.
- the classic flavor boosters: minced anchovies, olives, pickles, capers, etc.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. You can also put the leaves in a food processor and pulse until chopped, then add the butter and whizz until smooth. Season with salt.
Once mixed, you can store the butter in a jar or other container in the fridge for a few weeks or the freezer for a few months (or however long you feel comfortable keeping it). You can also roll the butter into a log on top of plastic wrap or parchment and then wrap it up and twist the ends. Pop it into the fridge or freezer and cut a slice off the end of the cylinder whenever you want some. If you put it into cute jars, it also makes a nice gift. Bring a loaf of fresh bread and a jar of herb butter to a dinner party and you have officially won the evening.
Herby butter is perfect for so many things. Let it come to room temperature to slather it on good bread, with sliced fresh radishes on top. You can use it to top pasta, sauteed vegetables, corn on the cob, fried eggs or omelets. You can stir it into hot rice or mashed potatoes or soup or grits. You can take cold slices and stick it under the skin of a chicken before roasting. You can put a slice on top of a just-cooked steak or pretty much any seafood. Basically, there are few savory foods in the world that are not made better by herb butter. I'm going to go eat some on fresh bread right now.