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Low-fat herb butter


You can make it full-fat, or you can dilute it 2:5 with water.

I quite like herb butters, but this recipe will make a lot of it.

1 dl oil, room-temperature
100 g butter, room-temperature (... Finns use salted butter.)
0-5 dl water, room-temperature
fresh chopped-up herbs to taste

Pour oil into the tall jar you got with your stick blender (immersion mixer thingy), add butter, add herb (I usually add at least 3 tblsp chopped up herb, but I can go up to 1 dl (or more), for the no-water version).

Blend until smooth.

Next, pour in the water, in a slow trickle, blending all the time. This part of the procedure is the same as when you make mayonnaise: slowly but surely add an ingredient that doesn't mix with another ingredient, to that other ingredient. In mayonnaise-making, things go [pop] and then you have a mix; in making herb butter all that happens is that the oil'n'butter mix gets lighter in color, and the water disappears. Perhaps this would say pop, too, if the mixer wasn't so loud?

Because this makes so much herb butter it's best made before larger parties or similar. There's so much water that it'll go bad in the fridge in a little over a week; I've tried freezing it but can't remember the results - it's been a while.

If you leave out the water it'll keep for about as long as the butter'n'oil would have kept, in the fridge of course. Watch the green bits for mold, though.

If your ingredients aren't all the same temperature your mix won't mix.

If you don't use the tall narrow container that came with your stick mixer you'll have oily water all over your kitchen. Been there, done that, got the T.

Single herbs to use

  • parsley
  • lovage leaf (Levisticum officinale)
  • black currant leaf (Ribes nigrum) - yum!
  • chives
  • caraway leaf (Carum carvi) - this will taste of parsley the first day, and get stronger caraway undertastes as it ages.
  • chervil leaf (Anthriscus cerefolium) - "the gourmet's parsley"

Herb blends to use
I use pretty much all tasty things in the garden, including

  • all mentioned above
  • hyssop leaf (Hyssopus officinalis),
  • thyme
  • tarragon (both French tarragon and the very similar-tasting Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida))
  • lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla, or whatever it's called this week)
  • lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
  • any of the Mentha mints
  • mountain mint (Pycnanthemum spp.) - it's as tasty as peppermint, it won't take over your garden, and it comes true to seed
  • one or the other bee balm (especially the red red flowers of Monarda didyma 'Cambridge Scarlet')

... pretty much anything that I like, in fact.

I do have some 100 species out front, and I don't grow any culinary herbs that I don't like.
Eat your hearts out, sage, sweet cicely, anise hyssop and basil, to mention a few that I don't grow.


Link to the herb FAQ entry on herb butters.

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