Simple Herb Butters to jazz up your cooking

Herb butters are one of those things that are handy, easy to make and can liven up the most boring of dishes. Plain pasta can be transformed by simply tossing in a herb butter. Pan fried seafood, a nice steak or even a simple Sunday roast can benefit from these wonderful disks of herby goodness. They freeze really well too. Here are a couple of different flavours worth giving a try. There are no strict measurements, just use what you have to hand. I love them put under the skin of a chicken when roasting and in my homemade stuffing. The method is just mixing the ingredients together, rolling up in foil or cling film till the butter hardens. Then cut into individual disks about 1cm thick if your freezing. Place in a container separating each layer by greaseproof paper and label. You can keep the blocks or rolls of butter in your fridge if you wish. You’ll see I state REAL BUTTER, which is dairy butter not margarine or spreadable butter. If your vegan, you can try oil or vegan butter. I have done oil but it doesn’t have the same impact when basting, frying or mixing into pastas or stuffing. If using oil then pour into ice-cube trays for freezing. Also lemon juice can curdle butter so generally I squeeze that in when actually cooking rather than adding loads at the butter making stage. Its a personal thing.

Fresh Mint, Parsley & Garlic (Lamb cutlets, stuffing)

  • A hand full of fresh mint leaves (whatever you have) chopped
  • A hand full of parsley leaves chopped
  • Clove garlic chopped or minced
  • 200g real butter (salted or unsalted. slightly softened)

Dill & Lemon Butter (fish, pasta, stuffing)

  • A hand full of fresh dill chopped
  • Rind of 1 lemon & half the juice (you can use all the lemon juice depending on your taste)
  • 200g real butter

Chilli & Black Pepper (Beef, pork, chicken & lamb)

  • 1 Medium red chilli finely chopped & seeds removed (leave in some if you like it hot)
  • Quarter teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • Quarter teaspoon salt
  • 200g real butter
  • (If you’d like an Asian twist you can add minced ginger, clove garlic and some coriander. Its nice on prawns)

Parsley, Lemon & Garlic (Pasta, stuffing, seafood, chicken)

  • A hand full fresh parsley chopped
  • Rind of 1 lemon and half the juice (can use more if you like)
  • 1 clove garlic minced or chopped finely
  • 200g real butter

Lemon, Garlic & Thyme (seafood, pasta, rabbit, chicken, stuffing)

  • Bunch of thyme, leaves removed , about 1-2 tablespoons (lemon thyme is particularly nice)
  • 1 clove garlic minced or finely chopped
  • Rind of 1 lemon and half the juice
  • 200g real butter