Gardening, Gardening 101, Recipes

Herbal Butter Recipes to Liven up Meal Times

Herbal Butter Recipes to Liven Up Meal Times

Photo of Sliced Loaf Bread and Butter
Make your own herbal butter

Herbal butter is super easy to make, and to use at mealtime. For the life of me, I don’t know why we pay money at the store for it. Yes, convenience does play a part when you are in a hurry, but I really don’t think that’s the whole picture here. I think that many of us have forgotten that it’s even an option for simple yet tasty cooking. I don’t know about you, but my mother and grandmother almost never bought anything premade. 1. Because we had the ingredients, why would we spend money buying it?  and 2. Her’s tasted better. 

The most common herbal butter is probably garlic butter, slathered on garlic bread, which is delightful. There’s also cinnamon butter for your toast in the morning. 

But these beg the question, how many people take a couple of minutes to make their own, or do they grab an over-priced version at the store, with less than desirable taste and a questionable ingredient list?

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Having a well-stocked pantry, in your herb and seasoning department, is a must for making healthy, delicious, and yes, nutritious kinds of butter, spreads, and meals. Its a fabulous way to use your fresh herbs in season, and utilize your dried ones in winter.

I’d like to share my recipes for garlic butter and a few others as well. You, of course, can be inspired and come up with your own with what you have on hand. 

Tips for Making Herbal Butters

  1. With any kind of herbal butter, you want to start small. That way if you end up with a real miss on the end product you aren’t throwing a bunch out.
  2. Keep a notebook handy to keep track of your measurements so you can tweak your flavorings for the next time, and what you used it with. 
  3. Have a container of course to store it in but if it’s not all going to get used in a few days, you will want to freeze it so the herbs don’t go bad. Have an extra ice cube tray handy just for this purpose. You can put the excess butter in equal measurements and freeze for use in cooking later. Putting the butter cubes in a labeled zip lock bag in the freezer makes it easy to grab when you are making up a pasta sauce or stew later on. 

Citrus and Black Pepper Butter

Here is a recipe that works wonderfully with chicken and fish in particular, giving it a nice sear along with the flavor. 

food, to greet, lemon
Using citrus, both juice and zest, really adds flavor to a dish.

Ingredients needed

  • 1/8th cup of butter, softened, preferably unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite citrus juice, fresh, lime, lemon, or orange. You could even try grapefruit. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of the zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, or 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/8th teaspoon sea salt if butter is unsalted
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional add: 1/4 teaspoon of chili pepper finely chopped that you have on hand. It doesn’t matter what kind. Or you could add 1/8th teaspoon of chili powder, cayenne pepper, or similar spice in your pantry

Cream together and adjust the taste as desired. 

 

 

Dill Butter

Dill is one of the most delicious and savory herb butters you can make, and if you have a garden, chances are you have some growing in a corner somewhere. If you don’t, here are some tips on growing and using it.

Dill butter is wonderful particularly on fish, as it is mild enough not to smother the flavors of milder fish, but still adds a delicious essence to the meat and sauce. Of course it is delicious in soups, stews, and on lightly toasted baguettes for sandwiches. 

round white ceramic plate with lime on top
Dill butter is so flavorful for milder flavored foods, because it doesn’t smother out the mild flavor of the main dish.

Ingredients needed

  • 1/8th cup of butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime zest
  • 1/8th teaspoon sea salt if butter is unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped savory

Cream together and taste to adjust the seasoning. 

Cinnamon Butter 

 

This butter is so delicious and comforting and lovely on waffles, pancakes, muffins, or toast. 

pile of cookies with cinnamon sticks
Cinnamon butter, made with fresh spices and good butter, makes breakfast a new adventure.

Ingredients needed

  • 1/8th cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8th teaspoon sea salt if butter is unsalted
  • Optional additions: 1/8th teaspoon nutmeg, allspice, or ground cloves

Cream together and adjust the seasoning

Garlic Butter Recipe

Fresh garlic butter is a food group in itself, spread on a warm slice of fresh bread, and dipped in pasta sauce. Everyone should be able to experience this on a regular basis. 

Fresh garlic butter on some warm fresh bread is one of the delights of human existence.

Ingredients needed

  • Start with 1/8th cup of butter, softened. You can use unsalted butter if you like, which lets you add in your favorite sea salt. 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 1 fresh garlic clove finely minced or put through a press. Don’t worry, if you want the finished product more garlicky, you can always add more.
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
  • Pinch of black pepper 
  • 1/8th teaspoon sea salt if butter is unsalted. 

Cream the ingredients together and give it a taste. Adjust the seasoning if you feel it needs a little more of something. 

Rosemary Citrus Butter 

This is a butter that goes with a lot of different ingredients but is particularly good for browning roasts or stew meats before cooking. 

pork belly dish
Rosemary and citrus butter is a delight on so many dishes, but works particularly well for browning roasts and stew meat before cooking for added flavor.

Ingredients needed

  • 1/8th cup of butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried and finely chopped. Remember, rosemary is a strong herb, and it’s better to add more to adjust it to your taste than to have too much. 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon or to taste lemon zest
  • 1/8th teaspoon sea salt if butter is unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Cream together and adjust the seasoning

Create Your Own Herbal Infusions

Making herbal butter is limited only by your imagination. 

Some other ingredients to keep in mind to try could include: 

assorted condiment lot
Spices give zest to life.

Other herbal butter ingredients to liven up your meals:

You may have some of these from your own garden. 

  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Chinese five spice
  • Star anise
  • English thyme
  • Sage
  • Summer and winter savory
  • Garlic chives
  • Cumin
  • Dill-Easy to grow, just about anywhere. Here’s a blog post on growing your own. 
  • Tumeric
  • Pepper flakes
  • Basil
  • Celery seed
  • Cloves
  • Fennel
  • Marjoram
  • Terragon

There are dozens more spices out there to experiment with and to enjoy, and I really hope this has inspired you to try something new for your lunch today! Leave me a comment below on what you tried and what you have discovered! 

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