How to: Make compound butter

One of my all-time-favourite snacks has always been a little bit of butter lathered on a piece of fresh baguette. Add a sprinkling of fleur de sel and I’m a happy gal! I grew up in France and so butter has been a ubiquitous part of my diet – it’s never been about using copious amounts of it, but adding it here and there to add a little richness and flavour.

Packaged compound butters

 

For a dressed-up affair I like making compound butter, which is a butter concoction made with a variety of flavourful seasonings. It’s quick to make and has to set in the fridge, so it’s a perfect recipe to make the night before you’re having people over for dinner.

Here are three of my favourite flavour combinations: an herb butter, a tomato butter and a fruit-and-nut butter. You can simply spread a bit of compound butter on a piece of crusty bread or you can use it to top grilled chicken or steak or a nice piece of poached fish.

Butter ready to be served.

 

Herb Butter
2 tsp chopped thyme
2 tsp chopped chives
¼ tsp fleur de sel
¼ tsp crushed peppercorn
2 tsp lemon zest
½ cup butter, at room temperature

Stir all ingredients into the room temperature butter. Spoon mixture onto parchment paper to form a line along one side of the paper, then roll into a log. Tie each end of parchment using kitchen string. Leave to firm up in the fridge, about 2 hours.

Tomato Butter
2 small heirloom tomatoes
2 tsp chopped thyme
2 tsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 clove of garlic
½ cup butter, at room temperature

Slice tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices and lay out on parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with thyme, olive oil and half each of the salt and pepper. Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven until tomatoes are soft and fragrant, about 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic and remaining salt and pepper to food processor; pulse to form paste. Stir tomato mixture into the room temperature butter. Spoon butter mixture onto parchment paper to form a line along one side of the paper, then roll into a log. Tie each end of parchment using kitchen string. Leave to firm up in the fridge, about 2 hours.

Fruit and Nut Butter
1 tbsp chopped dried apricots
1 tbsp chopped cranberries
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
Pinch each of salt and pepper
½ cup butter, at room temperature

Stir all ingredients into the room temperature butter. Spoon mixture onto parchment paper to form a line along one side of the paper, then roll into a log. Tie each end of parchment using kitchen string. Leave to firm up in the fridge, about 2 hours.