Herbal Butter with Basil, Garlic & Lemon Zest
Nothing’s better than utilizing a stash of herbs — especially if it involves butter! Herbal butters add punches of flavor to any dish you use them with, without going into intricate culinary details and or extra expenses. The beauty of them is that they can be made at home, altered to your taste, and the flavors you can create are endless. This recipe is basil-garlic flavored herbal butter, but in the next couple of weeks or so, stay tuned for more — my mental stash wants to dish you roasted tomato and paprika-garlic butter; chive-butter; sweet rosemary and sage butter, and… well the list is endless. Just stay tuned :).
500g of softened butter
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup curly parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Things you’ll need:
Several sheets of wax paper, about 30x30cm (Doesn’t have to be exact, but enough to completely cover your butter logs and to clasp at the edges. You can also use plastic sandwich bags, slit at the sides into one plastic sheet)
In a large glass bowl, add butter, garlic, salt, and lemon zest. With a fork, beat everything together until incorporated. You can taste your butter at this point to be sure you’re okay with the salt — if you feel it needs more, add a bit extra.
Thinly slice basil and parsley (do not mince!), and toss them into the bowl with the butter. Beat everything together until mixed.
Lay out a sheet of wax paper or plastic, and with a tablespoon, dollop 3 to 4 spoonfuls of the butter next to each other onto the edge of the sheet, resembling a log.
Slowly and swiftly, roll the log of butter into your sheet, tucking in tightly as you go. You can gently even the shape with your hands while the butter is still soft.
Gently clasp the ends with an elastic band on each side. Repeat with remaining butter until finished.
Place your logs in the fridge to harden. While your herbal butter will live for quite some time, it’s safer to keep any unused logs in the freezer and take them down when you need to.
So, why go to all the trouble, you’re asking? Here’s the thing — sometimes, it’s plain old simplicity that’s the key. I’ve melted a few discs of this butter onto a slab of steak for example, seasoned only with salt and pepper, and it completely transformed it into a different culinary experience. The same with anything else; herbal butter can be popped over a baking fillet of sea bass, or used to stir-fri with chicken and veggies; slathered onto brisk for garlic bread (see image above!), melted onto pasta, or simply smeared on your toast in the morning. The options are limitless and it gives everything a kick, without the fuss of fumbling around for ingredients. Herbal butters really are a magical condiment - and they last for quite some time too!