Learning to use herbs naturally in the kitchen is best begun with the simplest of dishes. Add some life to a condiment you use every day by making yours an herbal butter dish! Here are some ideas for compound herbal butters.
What is a Compound Butter?
Compound butter simply means butter with delicious things mixed into it. These butters are usually used as a compliment to a dish, as opposed to the fat it was baked, fried, or sautéed in.
While you can technically make a compound “butter” with something like margarine, I can’t recommend that you do. Margarine is nowhere near as healthy for you as real butter and the taste is flat in comparison.
If you’re still just learning of the remarkable properties of real butter:
- The Weston Price Foundation can help you out with their article Why Butter Is Better.
- Also try The Healthy Home Economist’s The Untold Story of Butter.
The first thing to consider when one wants to spruce up one’s butter dish is that it’s imperative to start with quality butter. There are various quality brands of butter you can purchase and your local dairy may also make and sell butter from their excess cream. You may also find it at your local farmer’s market.
The best way to ensure the quality of your butter is, as always, to make it yourself. For a detailed description of that process, please our post:
The Herbal Butter Dish – Make Compound Butter!
Once you’ve mastered butter, it’s a simple matter to start getting creative making compound herbal butters. Your butter dish isn’t limited to savory herbs, either. Sweet herbal and even floral butters are certainly worth your time.
In her course Herbal Cookery, my friend Kathie of Homespun Seasonal Living teaches you about making your own herbal butters, as well as many other herbal treats. I share her basic herbal butter recipe from her course with her permission.
Rosemary Compound Butter with Lemon Balm and Chives
- 1/4 Cup Butter Room temperature
- 1/4 Cup Mixed herbs - for this recipe, use equal parts rosemary, lemon balm and chives Chopped finely
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt, if using unsalted butter
- Chop herbs finely and mix into room temperature butter. Besure all herbs are evenly whipped into the butter.
- Transfer to your butter dish for use on steamed potatoes, homemade crackers or sourdough toast.
- Wrap unused butter in bees wax wrap or plastic wrap and keep in fridge up to one week.
If you’d like some information on how to grow herbs, either in your garden or in containers, be sure to check out our e-book, The Potted Herb. Learn to grow herbs wherever you are!