As the growing season begins to wind down here, another delicious way I've been preserving our garden fresh herbs for us, is by making herbal butters, or compound butters as they have been called for a while now in culinary circles. To me though, it is simply herb butter! I've been using fresh dill, parsley, sage, mint, also a lovely lemon balm-mint blend... all blended with soft, real dairy butter. It is VERY easy to make compound butter!
Herb Butter / Compound Butter:
Soften some butter to room temperature--I use 50 grams/ about 2 ounces / 4 tablespoons. In a bowl mix the butter with 2 heaping tablespoons (30 grams) finely chopped fresh herbs. Scoop out the butter onto a piece of parchment paper, and roll it into a log-shape. Chill the herb butter in the refrigerator until firm. After the butter has firmed up, I like to divide the butter into smaller chunks and freeze it for later use. Herb butter keeps well in the freezer in an air tight container/wrap for 3-4 months. You can also place the butter-herb mixture in a small porcelain ramekin or other container in the fridge for easy serving.
I make many different flavored batches of butter at once, and it makes for a nice weekend afternoon project while catching up on listening to some favorite podcasts or music. ;) I've also made a floral butter using a purchased dried mix of edible flowers--blue cornflower, calendula, etc... delicious and beautiful. This floral butter is wonderful on warm breakfast muffins!
We use the herb butters for everything from vegetables (mint butter has been a nice taste-surprise on sweet corn on the cob!), tossed with hot pasta for a quick side dish, as a topping on fish while it bakes... Having some different herb butters stashed away in the fridge or freeze makes for an extra creative ingredient for the meals.
What tastes of the season are you enjoying right now?