Better butter

This article was originally published in December 2015

Add flair and flavor to holiday gatherings or weeknight dishes with compound butters. They’re a super simple way to upgrade your meal instantly, and while seemingly fancy, take very little time to prepare. Basically just butter with herbs or other seasonings mixed into them, compound butters can be game changers, jazzing up meats, seafood, veggies and rolls. They also make a fantastic DIY gift.


Basic how-to

Follow these simple instructions, experimenting with various mix-ins and flavor combinations.

1) Begin with room temperature butter and place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, stand mixer or sturdy spatula, beat ingredients together until well incorporated and fluffy.

2) Lay a piece of plastic wrap onto a flat surface. Spoon the butter mixture onto the middle of the plastic wrap. Pull the plastic wrap over the butter tightly, rolling and forming the butter into a log shape. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about two hours.

3) Once chilled, slice the butter into little “coins.” Serve the pats of butter alongside anything and everything.

Note: Compound butter will last in the refrigerator for about five days and in the freezer for up to two months. If freezing, wrap in parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Allow frozen butters to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


Flavor combos to try

Blue Cheese Chive

1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Pinch of sea salt

Rosemary Olive

1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon minced rosemary

Vanilla Cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 vanilla bean – split lengthwise, seeds scraped out, pod discarded
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Lemon Mint

1 stick unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Pinch of sea salt

Related reading