As the summer garden wraps up and the basil production winds down, I find that I am left with only a few sprigs here and there to cook with. The plants are beginning to go to seed, and since I will collect the seed for planting next year, the basil plants are left to complete their life cycle.
Here is where those couple of sprigs come into play. Basil compound butter – need I say more?
It’s easy to make and even easier to eat. It is delicious slathered over the top of a slice of sourdough bread or melted over steamed vegetables. If you like basil, chances are good that you will love it combined with butter.
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 c loosely packed basil leaves, de-stemmed
fine sea salt to taste
cornflowers or other edible, neutral-flavored flowers for adding color
Add softened butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside. Chop basil leaves to the size that you would like them to appear in your butter and place them in the bowl. If desired, add the edible flowers (chop them up if they’re big). Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Add sea salt to taste and mix to combine. You may now put your finished butter in a rectangular butter mold or a decorative mold to harden. Refrigerate until solid.
*note – if you are using cornflowers, remove the individual flowers and then use them whole to add a beautiful blue accent.