Monday, January 23, 2012

Herbed Butter

My windowsill basil has been looking a little leggy, so I went ahead and pruned it this morning.  Cutting the stems right above a node (or little cluster of baby leaves) will force the plant to put more energy into growing leaves, instead of growing stem, and will give me a bushier, leafier basil plant in the long run.  This is good, as I really love fresh basil.

Basil flavored sunlight, omnomnom!

Unfortunately, I did this right after breakfast time, so I was left with a handful of wonderfully pungent herbs, and no handy dish to throw it in.  What to do?


Chiffonade* the basil...

Cut up a stick of butter...

Put it all in a food processor on puree, with a little canola oil for lube...

And poof! You have fancy herbed butter, great for savory dishes!  You may not have a recipe that calls for 8 tablespoons** of herbed butter all at once.  That's ok.  Just portion it out onto a piece of parchment paper on a plate.  Or you can slap it onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it up into a single log-shaped piece.

Or you can just put it on my ass-cold porch.

Throw it into the freezer until the little globs (or log) are solid.

Then wrap them up and put them in a freezer-approved container, and thaw at will.  You can do this with pretty much any leafy herb, including sage and parsley or even mint, which could be interesting.  Use in place of straight-up butter in the appropriate dishes.

A project so easy, I didn't swear once while making it!

*Chiffonade is a French term for rolling leaves up like a cigar and then cutting them up into little strips
**If you don't get roughly 8 tablespoons out of this recipe, you're doing it wrong.