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Making your own herbed butter from fresh herbs in the garden allows you to season meats and vegetables from your garden on the grill or to enhance the flavor of vegetables at serving time. This savory butter creates melt-in-your-mouth poultry dishes and can be served on crispy Italian bread or rolls made in your bread machine.
Gather your favorite herbs in the early morning when they are fresh and have not suffered the effects of summer heat. Flavor is at its peak just before blooming begins, but herbs can be harvested and used at any time.
I’m often asked, “But how do I know which herbs to use?” The simple answer is: use the herbs that you prefer. My personal favorites are lemon thyme, oregano, basil, sage, rosemary and chives, but you may prefer others.
Wash the herbs in cold water to remove garden soil or insect residue and pat dry with a paper towel.
Mince the herbs into ¼ inch sections. For those with woody stems, strip the leaves and discard the stem before chopping.
Add two to four tablespoons of your favorite herbs to the butter. I typically add a clove of minced garlic (Here are some great garlic presses for you!) or grated Parmesan cheese (here are some great cheese graters!), particularly if I intend to use herbed butter for breads or pasta. Blend the herbs into the butter with a fork. Spoon the mixture into a butter tub or similar container and store in the best compact refrigerator.
To create patties of herbed butter, spread the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log approximately the size of a stick of butter. Place in the refrigerator to chill until it is firm. Cut the roll into ¼ inch slices for individual servings of herbed butter.
Use herbed butter to season grilled vegetables and meats, for a savory alternative to garlic bread, served on hot pasta or baked potatoes or even too add flavor to stews of sauces. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find the combination you prefer. You will be amazed with the flavor combinations that you may discover while adding your secret ingredient to recipes.
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