Basil Butter

I told you the other day about the smelly little furry used-to-be-cute-but-now-I-hate-them caterpillars that have been eating my basil and ravaging my garden.  What I didn’t tell you was that I also picked a healthy batch of basil before the weekend (when those little buggers re-infested) and made some basil butter.

I knew I would eat all of the basil I had and I wanted to use it for pesto, but I didn’t have any pine nuts at the time (of course, I bought pine nuts the day I came home to find much of my basil missing thanks to the hungry hairy hippos – yes, I am bitter).  Then I remembered that I read a lot about herb butter and folks making their own variations, so I decided that I could make some basil butter; and that I couldn’t possibly mess it up.

Note: this recipe is very loosely adapted for Martha Stewart’s recipe.  I measured nothing.  Tasted nothing.  Chopped the basil roughly.  Used regular black pepper instead of ground pepper and way more basil than the recipe calls for.  Another note:  none of that seemed to matter because it’s delicious.

Start with basil, pepper, salt, and butter.

Let the butter reach room temperature (it took all of ten minutes to reach a practically-melting point in my 80+ degree kitchen).

Gross, I know.  So quick and cover it up with all that beautiful basil.  As much as you want, I say (forget Martha)!

Toss on the salt and pepper – again, as much as you want – whatever kind you want – have a butter add-in party – pretend your butter is the base of your Cold Stone Creamery creation – go hog-wild.  And then play with your food.  Mix it all up.

You’re done with the “recipe” itself.  (Can you even call this a recipe?)  Now you just roll it up in parchment or wax paper in the shape of a cylinder.  This was the hardest part for me because the recipe doesn’t tell you how to do that. 

Seems silly, but make sure your placement of the butter on the parchment paper is right.  Mine wasn’t.  It was too much in the middle, so I had to scrape it over to the sides to make the wrap which then made it less Martha Stewart and more Muddled Mixer.  So when prepping to wrap up your butter, so you can roll it perfectly and prettily, put the butter all the way at the edge of the paper.  To not end up with this.  And butter all over your fingers.  And every layer of parchment paper.

When wrapped, it should resemble something like this (probably better).

And then stick it in the freezer.  Now you have tasty basil butter at your fingertips to add to whatever recipe you’re making!  I used mine for – shocker – pasta.  It was easy and scrumptious, and I felt minorly Martha Stewart-y.  Sans the jail stint.

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