With all of the rain lately, the herbs on our deck have really taken off. I am so excited becasue I love cooking with fresh herbs. There really is no substitute for their flavor. One of my favorite things to make with an abundance of fresh herbs is flavored butters. They are a simple, but sophisticated way to season or finish a dish. In our house we put them on everything from pasta and bread to corn on the cob.
You really don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a flavored butter. I prefer using whipped butter, but you could certainly use a regular stick of butter. Along with herb butter I like to make garlic scape butter and cayenne pepper butter. You could also make sweet versions to spread over toast or a bagel by adding cinnamon and sugar, orange and vanilla or fresh fruit.
I made this herb butter the other day to put on top of some grilled salmon for dinner. The rest of the butter I stored (in parchment paper) in the refrigerator to use at a later time. The recipe for the herb butter and grilled salmon with fingerling potatoes and tomatoes follows.
Yields < 8 ounces
8 ounces of whipped butter (or 2 sticks of regular salted butter)
8 leaves of fresh basil (chopped finely)
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary (chopped finely)
3 Tablespoons of fresh parsley (chopped finely)
3 Tablespoons of fresh chives (chopped finely)
3 scallions (chopped finely)
1 clove of garlic (minced – you could also use garlic scapes in place of the garlic)
Place the room temperature butter in a bowl and add in the fresh herbs. Combine by hand or with a mixer. Scoop the butter onto a sheet of parchment paper. Roll into a log and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Yields 4 servings
2 lbs of fresh salmon (cut into .5 ounce pieces)
1 lemon (juiced)
4 Tablespoons of herb butter
2 dozen fingerling potatoes
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (halved)
5 scallions (cut into large pieces)
6 basil leaves (chopped)
5 cloves of garlic (smashed)
Salt and pepper
Heat up your outside grill or a grill plate. In a large gallon sizes bag toss in potatoes, tomatoes, scallions, basil and garlic. Coat generously with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Grease the grill. Place the potatoes and tomato mix in a grill pan or on a piece of tin foil on the grill. Cook for 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, clean you salmon and coat each piece with lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are about half way down cooking. Place the fish skin side down on the grill. When the fish is almost cooked all the way through, flip to cook the other side. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
Plate the potatoes and tomatoes with the fish resting on top of it. Top with herb butter. Serve immediately.