Well, would ya look at that…only a mere three+ months since my last post! Shame on me! Real Estate has been keeping me busy, which is very good thing! I am still thinking about food, cooking the best I can everyday, which is all that matters, right?! Today I wanted to share two things I love most about Summer; Pesto & making Compound Butters.
Every year I look for different ways to “preserve our harvest” trying to savor the bounty all year long. I can’t even tell you what a pat of Chive Butter does to frozen Corn or mashed Potatoes in the middle of Winter…added to a juicy steak or massaged onto Chicken prior to baking. Or a hunk of Basil Pesto thrown into jarred Spaghetti Sauce, used (with extra Olive Oil) in place of pizza sauce for Pizza night or even as simple as spread onto bread, hot from the oven…
We stock up on Butter all year round, freezing it as we go, so we have plenty on hand to make our favorite Butters. This year, in addition to the usual, Thyme, Chive & Basil Butters, I tried a Tarragon-Mustard Butter. Fresh Tarragon, Dijon Mustard and Butter, all whirred up together and then portioned into approximately two tablespoon packets. One of our favorites ways to eat Pork is with Tarragon & Mustard, so now we can do this easily, with these little babies!
It’s super easy to make a Compound Butter (the fancy name for flavored Butter!); basically you are combining your fresh Herbs with softened Butter. No need even for a food processor like I use, just finely chop your Herbs and mix the two together. It’s actually funny, because now instead of drying my Herbs all Summer long, I am finding ways to put them in Butter! (funny till my jeans get too tight!)
There are many recipes for Compound Butters out there…I have a bunch I’ve pinned on Pinterest you can find here. I’ve made this one to go on Burgers (it’s off the hook, TRY IT!) from a fellow food blogger friend and recently I found myself with lots of Blue Cheese on the verge of getting too funky, so I made Blue Cheese Butter! Of course you can make yours however you want…add salt & pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper…garlic, fresh onion, get crazy and add Sriracha or Miso… Make it your canvas and just do it!
Pack them into single serve portions on plastic wrap, spread onto parchment paper and roll into a log, or freeze single size servings on parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and once frozen, dump into a freezer bag. However it works best for you! And for those of you that live close to me, come on over and grab some fresh Herbs from my garden anytime! ❤
Pesto has always been a favorite freezer staple of mine. The past couple of years we haven’t grown too much Basil, so I haven’t done it as often. Last year we had SO much Oregano, that I made a Pesto out of that. This year, I found a recipe for KALE PESTO that I had to try! Yes! Hooray for Kale!!! 🙂
I was inspired by this recipe in making this and by the fact that we were trying to eat Kale everyday so our harvest wouldn’t go to waste! I have had too many experiences with blanching veggies only to pull them out in the dead of Winter, to find they are all mushy and gross. I didn’t want that to be the case with our Kale so I started looking online for unique ways to preserve it. We don’t do Kale Smoothies at our house, so I thought doing a traditional Pesto with it would be best. You guys, I literally wanted to stand there in my kitchen and eat it from the container!!! Ha! I totally see using this in pasta, adding to soups & stews and maybe even pulling some out to spread on bread with Brie Cheese!
I hope this finds you enjoying a beautiful Summer! Don’t forget to take the time to close your eyes and soak in those warm breezes! Because, you know what’s coming…
Until next time, cheers!