Homemade herbal butters are an affordable and easy way to preserve your herbs and jazz up an otherwise ordinary meal. The herbal combinations are endless, but I tend to make them by cooking style (ie: Italian) or by dried herb blends (ie: Herbs de Provence.)
Set out butter to soften. (Use quality, unsalted butter.) One stick of butter will make one ‘log’ of herbal butter, so plan one stick of butter per blend.
Harvest and wash and pat dry your herbs and prepare any additions, such as garlic or shallots.
For an Italian blend, think about using basil, parsley and oregano.
For a Mexican blend, think about using cilantro and hot peppers of choice.
Herbs de Provence: savory, thyme, rosemary and oregano. Lavender may also be added, in small quantities. (It can be overpowering in some dishes.)
If you want to add to breakfast dishes, think about using chervil and chives.
Add herbs (and peppers, garlic or shallots, if using) to a small food processor and whirl until chopped fine. Add softened butter and process until well blended.
Lay out a piece of wax paper and turn the butter mixture out onto the paper, trying to keep the butter into a small cylindrical shape. Use a spatula to scrape any butter into one central spot. Pull the wax tight around the butter mixture and roll until formed into cylindrical shape.
Store for one week in refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer.
To use, just cut off a section and add to your recipe.
Photo below shows herbal butter added to mushrooms, ready for grill in a cast iron skillet.
Basil is a tender annual and will die at the slightest frost. Chervil and cilantro grow well in our North Texas winters but will bolt at the first sign of summer. Using these herbs in herbal butters is a great way to capture their flavor to enjoy throughout the year.