This is a simple recipe to use up some of the vast quantities of herbs you have in your garden, or CSA distribution, or just when you have to buy a whole bunch but just need 1 teaspoon for your recipe. Sure, you could dry them, or freeze them, but where's the fun in planning ahead? Eat 'em!
At our last CSA this week, there was you-pick basil. Well, by the time we got home the basil was already looking pretty wilted, probably due to the 95 degree weather. So my husband looked around online to see what he could make with it right away, and this is the recipe he decided to try. You don't really need a recipe...just mix a bunch of chopped basil and garlic into butter. The linked recipe calls for using a food processor. That's too much work. Just slightly soften some butter in the microwave, or in this heat, just leave the butter sitting on your counter for half an hour before making the recipe.
We've made similar recipes with other herbs in the past. My favorite is to mix garlic, rosemary, chives, and parsley together, which happen to be the herbs growing in my garden. You can try it with any herbs you have on hand, though.
Herbed butter is suprisingly versatile. You can melt it over lightly steamed vegetables to add some extra flavor. If you added garlic to your butter, you can use it to make a delicious herbed garlic bread. You can add it to mashed potatoes for some extra zip. You can put it over corn on the cob. But let's be honest: mostly, ours gets snacked on, spread on crackers or bread, until there's not enough left to do anything else with it.
And if you're feeling especially pioneer-ish, you can even make your own butter. It's suprisingly easy, and fun for kids (and adults, too. In fact, adults are usually more intrigued than the kids in my experience). I posted directions over on my blog a few months ago, so head on over there if you feel like shaking, shaking, shaking.