With lots of lush growth on the herb plants in my garden at the moment, I decided to have a go at making some herb butters again and wanted to share the basics with you so you can enjoy them too.
The basic method is to:
- Take half a pack of butter 125g (in the UK, most packs are 250g) and let it reach room temperature so it will be soft enough to mix the herbs into.
- Decide which herbs you’d like to use – they can be fresh or dried. Add between 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of each herb depending on the strength of the herb and to your taste. Prepare the herbs by chopping them finely, I find my Mezzaluna and wooden board that it came with the easiest to use, looks similar to this one but larger, but you could just buy the *Mezzaluna or even a *herb chopper if you’re not comfortable using just a knife to chop the herbs.
- Prepare any other ingredients that you wish to blend into the butter.
- Place the butter into a bowl and whip until it has a creamy texture.
- Blend in the other ingredients with a spoon or hand held mixer until they are evenly dispersed.
- Roll the butter into a log shape and wrap in greaseproof paper/cling film/foil, twist the end of the paper to seal it or fold ends as if wrapping a present and tuck underneath. Place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to harden and allow the flavours to develop. Alternatively, place in the freezer (remembering to label it with the herbs you have used) and then just take a slice as you need it but use within a few weeks to enjoy it at its best. If you can’t wait until it’s chilled you can of course serve it fresh with your meal.
For something different you could flatten the butter to approximately 3 cm thick then use any shape of biscuit cutters to cut out some shapes out of the flattened butter. Flower shapes look good. Try these shapes or thick slices of the rolled style melted on steaks, other barbeque meats, vegetables or into soups and sauces for flavour or add to baked potatoes.
If you prefer to watch a video on how to make herb butter, this is one with Sophie Grigson making herb butter using a blender.
Making and trying herb butters is a good way to find out which herbs or blends of herbs are your favourites.
Here are just a few ideas for which herbs go well with certain foods but just let your imagination run riot and see what delicious combinations that you can come up with:
Fish: parsley, fennel, dill, chervil, coriander leaf, lovage, lemon thyme, lemon balm
Meats: marjoram, garlic, rosemary, mint
Chicken: tarragon, basil, sage
Vegetables esp. beans and tomatoes: basil, thyme
Egg based dishes: chives, chervil, parsley, tarragon
If you’d like a detailed recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll write a few blog posts with just recipes. Alternatively, if you have any favourite combinations feel free to share them below.
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