One of the most common reasons
people grow their own herbs is to use them as fresh additives to food.
Culinary herbs are those probably most familiar to the general public. Though easy to grow, herbs require care just like any plant,
but the rewards are great when it comes to harvest time. Using your own herbs to create a taste treat is one of the most rewarding uses of the product of your own herb garden.
One of the most enjoyable uses of culinary herbs for the beginner and expert alike is to make their own fine herb butter.
These are easy to prepare and the herbs used add a touch that you just can't get any other way. It can be used in a vegetable dish, smeared on baked chicken or just as a nice spread on corn on the cob. Even a simple nosh such as bread and butter benefit from using a nice layer of herb butter spread on toast or even just a flavorful bread or roll.
There are a dozen different types of herb butters.
Try the blooms of Chives for an onion-like zing, or grind up some Rosemary and blend it in. Use some Dill seeds to give the recipe a little sparkle.
To make Basil
butter, just combine 1/2 cup of real fresh butter with a
1/2 cup of shredded leaves from dried Basil. It's great on scrambled
eggs, by the way. Add a 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese to the mix and a
tablespoon of lemon juice and smear onto a French bread loaf as it's baking.
Around Thanksgiving you might want a traditional Sage flavor
in the dish. Just cream together 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of minced Sage
leaves, then spread onto turkey or fish.
butter is a great favorite. Mix two blanched and minced garlic
cloves with a 1/2 cup butter, then fold in 1/2 cup of minced Cilantro
and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Makes a great spread for tortillas and
other Mexican dishes.
Or, reach for the Tarragon.
Chop finely and mix with a 1/2 cup of butter, then fold in the herb. Add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice
and spread onto some French bread fresh out of the oven. For a
traditional Tarragon dish, spread the butter on fish or use in a tomato
and egg recipe. The slightly anise flavor will add zing anywhere it's
is a favorite in many herb butter recipes. Add a crumbled leaf to
a 1/2 cup of butter and soften. Then spread on baked potatoes or hot
pasta. To add more flavor profiles, mix in an equal amount of Parsley
and fresh Basil.
Whichever your favorite herb - and it could be a little hard to choose "just" one - you
can probably make an herb butter that is more flavorful than the bland,
ordinary spread that comes from the cube or tub.