Better than store-bought: compound butter.

I regularly have herb butter on hand in the freezer—so last weekend when Rob grilled some good steaks, I topped each one with a sliver of basil-garlic butter made with ingredients from my garden. My herb bed is still hanging on through the increasingly cold fall days, so now is a great time to make herb butter.

Compound butters are incredibly useful: not only for topping grilled meats, but as marinades or rubs for chicken or seafood, for sautéing vegetables, making seasoned breadsticks, you name it. I use salted butter (still a bit firm from the refrigerator) and the small bowl of my food processor. Then I wrap the butter in waxed paper, seal it in a quart zip-top bag labeled with the contents, and stash it in the freezer; I’ll slice off bits as needed.

herb butter

1 stick salted butter, chilled
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic

1 stick salted butter, chilled
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup parsley leaves

1 stick salted butter, chilled
1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. honey

1 stick salted butter, chilled
1 Tbsp. fresh lavender flowers
1 Tbsp. honey

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