Easy step by step to preserve fresh herbs in the form of herbal butters. The recipes below include four popular herbal blends: a Fines Herbs blend, a Mediterranean blend, a seafood blend, and a Mexican blend
1/2cupreal butterroom temperature; I use Kerrygold
2-4TbspFresh herbsrinsed, air-dried, and minced
1/2tspfresh lemon zestfinely grated with microplane
Kosher saltamount is to taste, depending if you use salted or unsalted butter
Fines Herbs Blend
1TbspFresh chervilIf not available, leave it out or substitute with dill
1 TbspFresh thymeMinced
1TbspDillGround seeds or fronds
1TbspLemon verbena or lemon balmCan use 2 tsp lemon zest
1TbspFresh tarragonCan substitute with basil
1TbspMexican oreganoRegular oregano is fine
2-3tsplime zestzested with microplane
Let 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter soften to room temperature for several hours or soften in the microwave on 10% power. The butter should be easy to stir but not melted. Rinse the herbs and allow them to air dry before chopping.
Finely chop or mince the herbs and add to a bowl with the softened butter (you can also chop herbs in the food processor if you don’t want to use the knife). Zest the lemon or lime peel and add to the bowl. If using unsalted butter, add the amount of salt you want at this point (about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp). Stir all of it together thoroughly. The butter and chopped herbs can be blended in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment if you don’t want to blend by hand.
Place a piece of wax paper (about 8 x 11) on the counter and mound the butter/herb mixture on top of the wax paper (or plastic wrap or parchment paper). Using your hands, pat and roll the butter into a log (see video for my method). Roll the butter log inside of the wax paper and twist the ends to close (or secure with rubber bands. Label and place in freezer until ready to use. If making multiple butters, place all logs in a gallon freezer bag for longer and easier storage.
Will last 4-6 months in freezer. Cut off medallions (or coins) of butter when needed and use in sauces, on breads, or atop vegetables or meats.