Spread It Around | Making the Most of Versatile Butter

Fresh Butter stick on a white dish with basil leaves,close upUse butter as a flavor base to add distinction to your dishes

Julia Child once said, “With enough butter, anything can be good.” We couldn’t agree more. But butter need not just be plain butter (sorry, Julia). By adding other ingredients to butter, dishes can easily become new classics. Here are some of our favorite flavored butters, ranging from simple to complex profiles, that pair well with meats and vegetables or breads.

The simple herbed butters. Freshly-snipped herbs added to butter lends incredible flavor to beef and vegetables. They include:

  • Basil butter
  • Tarragon butter
  • Dill butter
  • Parsley butter
  • Thyme butter
  • Oregano butter 

Butters with a few herbs. The following have more complexity to them and layers of depth.

  • Herb butter with parsley, shallots, garlic, watercress, and basil
  • Shallot and thyme butter

Spiced and spicy butters. Steak au poivre would not be a favorite without that dollop of peppered butter melting on top of the sizzling steak. Common spiced butters include:

  • Black pepper butter
  • Cinnamon butter
  • Ginger butter
  • Peppercorn (green or black) butter
  • Cumin cilantro butter
  • Chili jalapeño 

Citrus butters. These butters typically contain both juice and zest of citrus fruits and ratchet up the flavor of breads, muffins, and desserts.

  • Lime butter
  • Lemon butter (you may want to add a touch of Tabasco for an extra kick)
  • Lemon dill butter
  • Orange butter 

Other fruity butters. Chopped cranberries, strawberries, or blueberries make for a might tasty butter. Chop up oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and add to butter for a zippy punch of flavor.

Cheesy butters. Add bleu cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or another cheese of your choice to butter. Cheese lends a distinctive edge to the butter.

Honeyed and syrup butters. Blend maple syrup and butter and top off your pancakes, waffles, or French toast with it. Add honey to almond paste, blueberries, or cinnamon to butter. You can even add some whipped cream and vanilla. Apply the buttery mix to breads or plain cake.

Other combinations. Try crumbled, crisp bacon with oregano and black pepper as an addition to butter. Or combine red cayenne paper with black pepper and chili powder with butter. Mix chopped chiles with butter. Sprinkle in barbeque spice and onion flakes or onion powder. Add in chopped olives and lemon juice. Mix apple pie spice with canned pumpkin and add that to butter.

The possibilities of creating a unique buttery flavor are endless. Try these or create your own. Let us know which ones are your favorites!