Do you grow herbs in your garden? I love herbs, so I planted a nice variety of them this year. I am always amazed by how prolific even one plant can be, continually producing fragrant deliciousness all summer long. I have had an endless supply of basil, mint, stevia, dill, sage, cilantro, oregano, lavender, and chives since I planted them in June. I use fresh herbs for cooking throughout the summer and I freeze and dry extras for winter, but even doing that it seems like I always have more than I can use up. I’ve been on a mission to find creative new ways to use them while they’re still fresh before fall comes.
Herb butter is one of the things I’ve discovered and decided I can’t live without. Fresh herbs + butter = YUM. And herb butter is so easy to make. I put the recipe below, but this is one of those things you really don’t need a recipe for. Just add whatever herbs you like to softened butter and you have a delicious topping to pep up just about any meal. It’s a very forgiving recipe as well; you can use dried herbs if you don’t have any fresh on hand, and you can substitute what I’ve used in this recipe for any of your favorite flavors.
In this batch, I made my herb butter with fresh basil and oregano straight out of the garden, garlic (a lot…because I love garlic), and dried rosemary (I didn’t grow rosemary this year so didn’t have fresh on hand), a pinch of sea salt, and fresh ground pepper for extra flavor.
To make this yourself, add about 1 tablespoon of each herb, 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic, and a dash of the sea salt and pepper to 1/2 cup (1 stick) of softened butter. Mix it all together with a fork and it’s done and ready to use right away.
After you make the butter, you can shape it into a cylinder in plastic wrap and refrigerate it so it is easy to slice after it hardens, or you can do like I do and just keep it in a bowl with a lid and refrigerate it. Herb butter is delicious on bread, but can also be used on baked potatoes, steamed vegetables, baked fish, or anything else you’d use butter on. We even made grilled cheese sandwiches one night using this butter on the bread instead of plain butter and they turned out amazing!
Add any of your favorite herbs to butter to customize your own butter creations, including chives, sage, thyme, and cilantro. For a little twist, add things like chopped up roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or cinnamon and sugar for a sweeter buttery topping for toast or bagels. The possibilities are endless!
Enjoy! And if you make herb butters, I’d love to hear what your favorite combinations are.