Herbed Compound Butter Recipes
Herbed compound butter is one of the easiest, fastest, no-brainiest ways to fancify your life. Just take soft butter, add some fresh or dried herbs, some spices, some salt, some citrus zest, some onion relatives, some garlic, some ginger, some mustard, some miso, really just about any flavors you can imagine, and mash it all up together then put it on top of food. I like to make a compound butter with green onions and lemon to spread on savory ham and cheese waffles!
Here is a basic recipe for herbed compound butter. The only thing to be careful of is not to add more than a tablespoon of liquid seasonings (i.e. juice, soy sauce). More than that, and it won’t fully combine with the butter.
Aside from that, get crazy. Mix up all the flavors that sound good to you. Then slather some of your custom butter on bread, potatoes, or pasta; saute some vegetables in it; or top grilled meat or fish with a little pat of it and let it all melt down on top and look like you’re eating at a real restaurant.
Also try this jalapeño compound butter on meats and potatoes!
Compound butter is also used as a spread for tea sandwiches. Try an herbed compound butter spread thickly on bread, then topped with thin slices of radish or cucumber and a sprig of fresh herbs for some cute and quick, very ladylike finger sandwiches.Print
Herbed Compound Butter
- Yield: 1/4 cup 1x
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh herb of your choice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- dash white pepper
- Put the butter in a bowl and let sit on the counter until softened. Use a fork to cream the butter a bit before adding in remaining ingredients. Mash together until thoroughly mixed.
- Serve right away while soft or scrape mixture onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper, roll into a cylinder and refrigerate up to 24 hours. To serve cold, slice pats off the roll and top hot foods with it, letting it melt at the table.
Here are some flavor combinations to try, all based around 1/4 cup unsalted butter with salt and pepper added to taste:
2 tablespoons minced scallion + 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest + 2 teaspoons lemon juice (good on bread and seafood)
1 tablespoon minced cilantro + 1 clove garlic, minced + 1 tablespoon lime juice + 1/2 teaspoon lime zest (good on fish, chicken, grilled steak, vegetables, especially summer squash and corn)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 2 anchovy fillets, mashed) + 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice + optional pinch red pepper flakes (good on pasta, fish, broccoli)
1 1/2 teaspoons miso paste + 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (good on salmon, pork chops, vegetables, especially asparagus and carrots)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley + 1 tablespoon lemon juice (good on steak, or anything really)
1 tablespoon minced scallion + 1 teaspoon fresh minced parsley + 1 teaspoon fresh mint (good on chicken, lamb, peas, roasted potatoes)
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill + 1 tablespoon orange juice + 1 teaspoon orange zest (good on vegetables, especially carrots and beets)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1 tablespoon brown sugar + 2 tablespoons minced walnuts or pecans (omit pepper, good on pancakes and waffles or to saute apple slices)
And this delicious, spicy jalapeño butter!
Wow, I’m going to have a hell of time deciding which of those combinations to try first!
Speaking of garlic presses: decades ago I used a garlic press but hated it because it was hard to clean. I was also under the misunderstanding that one had to peel the garlic first. So as soon as I saw Jacques Pepin use a chef’s knife, I adopted that method. But 4 years ago, after I spotted an Oxo garlic press with a self-cleaning gizmo, I decided that life was too short to mince garlic with a knife. After about a week of using it, it dawned on me that the garlic press would effectively peel the garlic clove itself.
It’s a life-changing discovery, isn’t it? I just figured that out about the garlic press last year I think. 🙂
A couple of weeks ago, I came across the Microplane food graters. they sound excellent, but I’d like to ask your opinion. I think I saw you using one in one of your vids, but can’t remember which one.
I am thinking about getting a couple of the Elite series:
I think the little plastic catcher underneath would be cool, and I’d never have to stick my hand up inside a box-grater to clean it again.
Yes, I have two sizes and I use them often. They do seem easier to use than the standard box grater and you can use them with or without the catching cup. Mine have lasted me a couple years and still work great, even washing them in the dishwasher all that time.
I must be really behind time. I had never thought of doing anything like this. But I like! Thank you for your good work in keeping cooking interesting.