Flavored butters add the perfect finishing touch to almost any dish, whether they’re topping a grilled steak or an ear of corn. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to turn the ordinary stick of butter in your refrigerator into something truly special, using just a few fresh herbs and flavorings from your garden and pantry.
Start with minced garlic or shallots, chopped capers and sundried tomatoes, chopped fresh herbs — such as rosemary, basil, parsley or tarragon — and grated citrus zest. Fresh edible flowers like nasturtiums or violets make beautiful, unexpected garnishes. Read on for more instructions and ideas!
How It’s Done
Combine the butter and the flavorings in a food processor and process until thoroughly combined and smooth. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to beat together all the ingredients in a small bowl until completely mixed. Transfer the butter to a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap and shape the butter into a log about 2 inches (5 cm.) in diameter, rolling the paper around the butter to enclose completely. Twist the paper at the ends of the log to secure. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, or place in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 9 months. Bring to room temperature before using.
Ways to Use
A pat of savory butter takes grilled meats and seafood to the next level — think a tarragon-mustard butter for steak and chile-lime for salmon. Top a baked potato with a rosemary-shallot butter, or stir it into mashed potatoes. Toss pasta with garlic-basil butter. Use nasturtium-sea salt butter to make canapes: just spread on mini toasts and top with cucumbers and smoked salmon.
Garlic-Basil: Combine 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil; 1 Tbs. minced garlic; and 1/2 tsp. coarse salt.
Rosemary-Shallot: Combine 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; 2 Tbs. minced shallots; 1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary; and 1/2 tsp. each coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.
Chile-Lime: Combine 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; grated zest of 1 lime; 1/2 tsp. chile powder; and 1/2 tsp. coarse salt.
Nasturtium-Sea Salt: Combine 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; 2 Tbs. chopped organic nasturtium flowers; 1 Tbs. snipped fresh chives; and 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt.
Tarragon-Mustard: Combine 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; 2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon; 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard; and 1/4 tsp. each coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.