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When a bumper crop of fresh herbs spring up in your garden, they can be preserved quickly by chopping the leaves and making a fresh herb butter.
Herb butter, also known as “compound butter,” is butter that has been mixed with fresh or dried herbs. It usually is formed into a log, chilled until firm and sliced to serve on foods.
Best Herbs To Make Fresh Herb Butter
You can make fresh herb butter with virtually any fresh or dried herb (although I really prefer using fresh.) Some of my favorite combinations are:
basil and thyme
sage and roasted garlic
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (just like the song!)
garlic and tarragon
Fresh Herb Butters Have Endless Uses
Some recipes are ideal for fresh herb butter. Think about adding to a simple pasta, boiled or roasted potatoes, or steamed veggies.
Spoon the butter into a butter mold or shallow bowl or roll it into a log and serve it sliced into pats with a crusty loaf of bread.
Offer a variety of butters on a buffet table, or put an assortment into little serving bowls and give to friends.
You can store herb butter in the freezer indefinitely and use it as a topping for pasta, grilled proteins (it’s amazing on steak) or to add extra oomph to a baked potato, corn on the cob, or any plain vegetable.
The Best Butter To Use
As with any recipe that uses minimal ingredients, quality counts. My two favorite butters to use are:
Both of these butters come in salted and unsalted varieties. You can use whichever you choose. If you use the unsalted version, add a pinch of salt to your mixture.
How To Make Fresh Herb Butter
Start with high-quality, room temperature butter. Let your butter sit at room temperature for several hours. Do not put butter in the microwave to try to quickly soften it. That’s usually a recipe for disaster.
Prep your herbs. Make sure your herbs are clean and dry. Rinse them and dry by wrapping in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel until their is no remaining moisture. You can finely chop herbs by hand or use a food processor.
Mix the butter with the softened herbs. Add any additional seasonings desired.
Place in an airtight container. My favorite storage method is to form a butter “log” with either waxed paper or plastic wrap. Twist the ends tightly and store in the freezer. You can easily cut off slices when you’re ready to use without defrosting the whole log.