Food Lovers’ Fridays: I’m a big fan of bringing classical cooking methods and recipes into the home kitchen. Today’s post is part of a series meant to highlight those traditional techniques and recipes that can be used in or adapted to paleo cooking.
I have been dragging lately. These days I cannot seem to get motivated and I am cranky when I have to try. I guess the whole bar experience took more out of me than I realized. It doesn’t mean I am not thinking of food, or wanting lush, expansive doses of flavor — it just means I’m leaning more heavily on the culinary tricks that offer the most bang for the buck.
Thus, today’s FLF is one of the simplest, but most amazing things I know how to make: compound butter.
It really is as simple as it gets: warm some butter, dice some herbs, moosh together, and serve. If you are a more strict paleo eater, you’ll use ghee. If you aIre vegan, I would try a combination of equal parts red palm oil and coconut oil. The red palm has a rich, carroty flavor that is reminiscent of butter or ghee, and the coconut oil makes that flavor a little less intense, so that the flavor of the herbs can shine.
Because compound butters so simple, they allow for endless variations. My favorites, I think, are fresh herbs from our garden with just a touch of salt. A single herb works just as well as a blend, so use whatever you’ve got. Compound butters don’t have to be savory, though — a vanilla and coconut sugar version, for example, would be great on a paleo muffin or bread.
I call the attached version Scarborough Fair Butter after the song; it’s my go-to for seasoning our Thanksgiving turkey. Because rosemary and sage are more dominant flavors, I’ve balanced them with a stronger dose of thyme and parsley. It is equally adept at livening up any number of vegetables (try roasted beets or sweet potatoes) or swirled atop a gorgeous grilled steak. That extra hit of flavor is divine.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a small bowl, combine parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Continuing to stir the mixture, add the softened butter. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.
- If preparing for later, roll the mixture into a cylindrical shape. Cover with plastic wrap, then wrap the bundle with aluminum foil. Place in freezer until ready to use.