Recipe: Herb-lemon Zest Butter

I found this idea when reading through a recent Bon Appétit magazine (October 2011 issue).

You can put compound butters on top of steak, fish, chicken, rice, pasta, and veggies to enhance flavor and provide some variety to your dishes.   Compound butter can be made on-thhe-fly with leftover herbs and frozen for later use.   I thought that this helpful trick could be a way for busy working mothers to add some last-minute diversity and creative fun to our meals.   Tell me what you think.   

A basic recipe goes like this.   

Herb-lemon Zest Butter


  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, etc.)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt (for seasoning to taste)


  • Put chopped herbs on a work surface
  • Add butter and lemon zest
  • Using a large knife, finely chop together until well combined
  • Season with salt
  • Place butter on the front edge of a sheet of parchment paper (waxed paper or plastic wrap also works).   Bring the edge of the paper up over the butter and roll mixture tightly into a cylinder.
  • Twist the ends to compress the log
  • Wrap airtight in foil
  • Chill until solid
  • Cut into slices and apply on food at end of cooking

Butter will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks or frozen for up up to three months

Other flavor ideas:



Porcini-Red Wine

Turmeric-Mustard Seed


Photo by Diane fields

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