A few weeks ago, I received an awesome basket of fresh herbs from a friend who is in the herb business. Soon after that, I got another box of herbs from the same friend. (Raise your hand if you want friends in the herb business! I know I do!) I had the chance to make a variety of different herb recipes. Some of them have been shown here before, and a couple of them need some more refining before I post them here. At the end of last week I had two situations 1. I had little portions of lots of herbs that were just on the brink of being unusable. 2. I was going to a couple of dinner parties. The solution… herb butter! I did a little research on the best herbs for herb butter, made up a few batches, and wrapped them up as hostess gifts. I kept one batch for myself and it was such a treat. Elias and I sat around the plate of it, spreading it on bread and crackers, and ignoring the fact that it is butter and therefore not very good for you. I wondered about using so many different herbs together, but it wasn’t a problem at all. I think herb butter lends itself to experimentation with different flavors and varieties and choosing your favorite. It’s a perfect gift from the kitchen to give for Christmas, too. It seems fancy and gourmet, but there’s really nothing to it. I researched several recipes, and this is what I ended up with. However, other recipes I looked at added garlic and/or lemon zest, and I think that would be fantastic as well.
- 1 stick unsalted butter (I like to control the level of salt myself. You can use salted, though, and add less salt to it)
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of herbs, very finely chopped. Any herbs will do. Use a combination or just a single herb. I used a combination of chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage and tarragon. (Ordinarily I would never have that many fresh herbs just laying around, see above story!)
- 1 – 2 tsp of salt.
- Let the butter soften at room temperature
- Combine chopped herbs and butter in a bowl with 1tsp salt. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
- Form into a log by placing a mound in the center of a piece of plastic wrap and using the plastic wrap to shape
- Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to use it.
(Can be kept in the fridge for a week or so. Up to a month in the freezer.)
The method I used was to take the hardened herb butter out of the plastic wrap, wrap it in a new piece of plastic wrap, and then wrap the whole thing in parchment. I attached a little note with a piece of yarn that said “Homemade Herb Butter – Spread on crusty bread, crackers, or grilled veggies.”