How to make herb butter

Video guide to making herb butter

Claire: Hi I'm Claire.

And I'm Lucy and we're going to show you how to make herb butter. With herb butter, anything goes, you can use anything and everything and it's a wonderful accompaniment to so many dishes; meat, fishes, breads, potatoes. It's so easy to make.

Ingredients for caper and dill herb butter

Claire: I'm going to make a caper and dill butter today. So these are my ingredients, caper, chillies  red and green, some finely chopped dill, lemon zest, crushed garlic and pepper. I won't use salt because the capers have got a lot of salt in them.

This is the butter I'm going to use. It's a room temperature so it's easy to mash. It's a whole pat of butter, so 250g. And then I'm just going to add my ingredients. Capers in. You can add as much as you like, it depends on your own taste. I'm going to add a couple of teaspoons of capers because I love them. And a teaspoonful of crushed garlic because this is a good base.

Lucy:  Pretty much, crushed garlic goes into every single kind of herb butter, doesn't it?

Claire: Yeah. A hefty pinch or two of dill. Pinch of lovely lemon zest, which I can smell. And then some red chilli, for colour.

Lucy: Be careful you don't touch your eyes, having touched fresh chillies.

Claire:  And a little bit of green. I'm going to put some pepper in as well. And now it's time to mash.

Ingredients for tarragon herb butter

Lucy:  While Claire gets on with mashing, I'm going to make a tarragon butter. It goes really well with chicken and beef. I'm just going to add some shallots that I've sautéed, two or three teaspoons full. That'll be a couple of shallots, or about half an onion.

And I'm going to take a small handful of the chopped tarragon. It's such a lovely smell, isn't it? A good pinch, couple of pinches of pepper. And I'm going to use salt here. I know you didn't in yours because of the salty capers but the butter that I'm using is unsalted, so you can sprinkle a bit more liberally than you normally would. And then I'm going to mash mine up too.

Add garlic to your herb butter

Then I'm going to put the most important ingredient, for any herb butter, a nice hefty spoonful of garlic, which has already been crushed. I reckon I'm going to do a nice heaped teaspoon there because I like things garlicky.

Claire: This is mashing really easily, because it's at room temperature and caper and dill is great with fish, but, to be honest, I'd put it on anything, particularly potatoes.

Lucy: Part of the beauty of these butters is they look so beautiful as well, especially when you cut them at the end and see all the different herbs and colours coming through.

Claire: Marbled all the way through. Mine's done.

Lucy: I think mine is done too. Looking gorgeous. Shall we have a bit of a tidy up and then we can get on with the rolling.

Claire: We're going to roll the butters in cling film.

Lucy: This bit's probably a tiny bit smaller than a bit of A3 paper, isn't it? OK, so we're going to scoop this out and we're going to get rolling. Plop it at the top of the cling film.

Claire: Or the bottom.

Lucy: Or the bottom, depending on where you're standing. There you go, this is lovely and gloopy. Great. Shall I get rid of the bowls? I'll put them to be washed up. Perfect.

For great results roll your herb butters

Claire: So, are you ready to roll?

Lucy: Rock and roll. Right, brilliant. So you just roll it over like that.

Claire: It's actually quite easy and very satisfying.

Lucy: It's like being a child, it's like I'm doing Play-Doh.

Claire: But it tastes nicer.

Lucy: It's so easy. Twist it over, almost like a sweet. The best way to roll it is actually roll it down one way, pick it up and do it the other way. Or even...

Claire:Roll it like a rolling pin.

Lucy: Yeah, and the texture - you have to really stop yourself just from going squidge, because it's so lovely. Really nice.

Claire: I think these are ready now so we're going to put them in the fridge for two to three hours, just until they're hard.

Lucy: There you go.

Claire: Thank you. And here's one we made earlier.

Lucy: Perfect.

Claire: There you go, would you like to cut?

Lucy: I would. This is the one with chilli in it, isn't it? The dill and caper. Just cut that end off.

Claire: It slices really easily.

Lucy: It does, doesn't it? And you can use however much you want. One slice, and then this leftover bit can be put back in to the fridge, covered and used on another day. So let's just get this out here. Really simple, really easy, really delicious. And that's how you make herb butter.

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