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Butter, even better

Butter, herbs and fresh veggies? How great is that? With all of the fab fresh veggies and herbs that summer brings, it may be a good idea to explore herb butters. Virtually any herb can be put into butter, but there are classic combos too, such as spring herbs: tarragon, mint and chives are a good mix; summer herbs: oregano and basil, and autumn herbs: rosemary and sage - these are all good pairings. Making herb butter is so easy and if you do it right, you will have flavourful butter at your fingertips by freezing it, too. It's fantastic on pastas, breads, steamed vegetables, fish, potatoes, anything you put butter on - this is even better!

basic ingredients:
1 cup of salted butter at room temperature
fresh chopped herbs by the tablespoon

Just remember to keep roughly the same ratio of butter to herbs. Easy, right?

Some combos to try include: 3 tablespoons of fresh basil and 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic OR 2 tablespoons of mint and 2 tablespoons of tarragon and 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest OR 3 tablespoons fresh coriander and 1 teaspoon of finely grated lime zest OR 1 tablespoon of fresh lavender and 1 tablespoon of honey (fantastic on scones). These are just suggestions... anything goes.

Pulse butter and chopped herbs in food processor. Spoon butter onto a sheet of parchment, roll into a log (a sushi roller thing works well for this) and chill or freeze, ready for slicing when you need it. The roll will keep for just over a week in the fridge and a up to six weeks in the freezer.

other ideas:
- use dried herbs too; just soften them with a bit of olive oil before putting in the butter. Also, use a little less because dried herbs have more intense flavour.
- try rolling the herb butter 'log' in things such as chili or parsley so the outside is pretty, too.
- spices can be added instead of herbs, such as chili powder, pepper, or ginger.


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