Now is the time to take advantage of the herbal harvest available to make some compound butters for Thanksgiving or other seasonal feasts. They are good on top of broiled or grilled seafoods and meats, enliven baked potatoes, make a good herbal base for moistening stuffings, are super for basting a turkey or are simply delicious rolled or molded into butter pats for homemade breads and rolls. They also keep very well for months rolled into logs and stored in the freezer wrapped tightly in parchment and plastic film.
I made this one out of watercress, shallot, fleur de sel and black pepper but you could use any combination of fresh herbs and spices. Make some sage and onion butter to baste your Thanksgiving turkey, use curry for a winter stew, tarragon and chile for grilled fish, or use parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme to make a Scarborough Faire highlight for grilled chicken or a freshly baked homemade roll.
This watercress butter makes smashing tea sandwiches on its own or topped with a fat slice of fresh radish or cucumber.
Watercress Compound Butter
- 1/2 pound fresh unsalted butter
- 1 bunch fresh watercress, washed and thoroughly dried
- 2 pinches fleur de sel or sea salt
- 1 large shallot, minced
- grindings of fresh black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times then scrape with a rubber spatula and process until smooth. Turn out onto a square of parchment or waxed paper and form into a log or divide in to two logs, use a bench knife or other flat surface to press the outside of the paper forcing the butter into a cylindrical shape. Wrap in plastic film and freeze until firm. Write the flavour and date on the wrap so you can identify it. Slice frozen or thaw and use as desired. Keeps for up to 3 months in freezer.