Homemade Herb-Flavoured Butters

Homemade Herb-Flavoured Butters

by Angela Patel

I always have a couple of pots of fresh herbs sitting on my kitchen window sill. My favourites are basil and coriander but flat-leaf parsley, lemon thyme, chives or rosemary are my other go-to herbs.

Keeping them fresh and healthy for longer than a few days can be a bit of a challenge but the Cole & Mason Self Watering Herb Keeper does all the work for you, just top up the water well and the plants will stay perky and well hydrated for weeks!

A sprinkling of chopped herbs can lift and enhance almost any dish! But I particularly like making herb flavoured butters to have on stand by in the fridge.  They are great for topping grilled meats, pan-fried fish and steamed veg or stirring into pasta and enriching sauces.

Follow these simple steps to make your own herb butters:

Prep: 20 mins plus chilling or freezing

Difficulty: Easy

Method:

  • For each butter you’ll need about 125g salted butter. Allow to soften at room temperature for at least an hour. A quick way to speed up the softening process is to coarsely grate the butter into a bowl.
  • Beat the butter with a spatula or wooden spoon until very soft and smooth then gradually beat in your chosen herbs and other flavourings (see Flavour variations below).
  • Drop the butter in a rough sausage shape onto a square piece of baking or greaseproof paper. Roll the paper around the butter to form a roll and gently twist the ends like a Christmas cracker.
  • Chill the rolls in the fridge until firm. Each flavoured butter log will keep for at least a week. Or place in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • To use, simply unwrap and slice off rounds of the butter as you need them. Allow frozen butters to defrost in the fridge overnight.

Flavour Variations:

Here are three classic variations but you can use any combo of herbs with other flavourings such as dried chilli flakes, finely grated Parmesan, a spoonful of creamed horseradish, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes or black olives – the choice is endless!

  • Classic garlic and herb – beat in 2-3 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves and season with freshly ground black pepper. Use to top char-grilled steaks, pan-fry mixed mushrooms or make home-made garlic and herb bread.
  • Lemon, thyme and pepper – beat in 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme leaves, 2 tsp lemon zest and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Great with grilled or oven-baked fish but also delicious stirred into hot cooked rice or dotted onto char-grilled vegetables.
  • Basil and chilli – beat in 2-3tbsp shredded fresh basil leaves and 1 finely chopped de-seeded red chilli pepper. This butter livens up pasta and stir fries but also is perfect for sautéing tiger prawns or adding to steamed mussels.

 

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