Make this easy basil butter to serve on a vibrant summer cheese board, spread on crackers, or melted over grilled veggies.
This herbaceous basil butter is an easy way to preserve summer flavor, especially when you find yourself with extra herbs on hand! I'm loving having it stashed in the fridge to spread on crackers for a snack.
My friend Linnea told me that in Scandinavia they call it "tooth butter" when you spread butter so thickly on a snack that it leaves tooth marks when you bite into it.
If you're anything like me, you'll want to pile everything high with tooth butter once you've made a batch of this verdant basil butter!
How to Make Basil Butter
Much like my favorite basil pesto recipe, I found that blanching and shocking the basil before incorporating it into the butter serves two key purposes:
- It keeps the color bright green
- It makes the flavor pop
When I tried this recipe with raw basil, it turned dark quickly and the flavor tasted more muddy. It's absolutely worth the extra effort to blanch and shock!
Start by bringing a small pot of water to a boil, and prepare an ice water bath in another medium bowl. Add the basil to the boiling water and cook until it's bright green, then plunge it into the ice water to stop the cooking.
Once you've squeezed out as much water as possible, chop the basil finely. Then add it to the softened butter along with a bit of lemon zest and salt to make the flavors pop.
What to serve with Basil Butter
This basil butter can swing sweet or savory.
- Melted over steamed corn or potatoes, or grilled or roasted summer vegetables
- As part of a vibrant summer cheese board (coming soon!)
- Spread on toast with peaches and honey
- Cooked into scrambled eggs or crustless quiche
- Slathered on zucchini bread or zucchini fritters
- Melted over almond flour crepes or gluten-free waffles
- Tossed with pasta or gnocchi
- Served with biscuits or focaccia
- Swirled into polenta or grits
How to Store
This basil butter keeps beautifully in the fridge for several weeks. I threw it in a lidded container but you could also shape it into a log and wrap it in parchment paper if you'd like to cut pretty rounds of butter.
You could also freeze it in ice cube trays, then pop them out and store them in a freezer bag for instant basil love all year round!
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Basil ButterPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- a few scrapes of lemon zest
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- First, blanch and shock the basil. This will keep the basil butter bright green and full of fresh flavor. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Make an ice water bath in a medium bowl.
- Add the basil leaves to the boiling water and cook until bright green and wilted, 20-30 seconds. Drain well and immediately plunge into the ice water bath to stop the cooking.
- When the basil is cold, drain it well and squeeze it with your hands to remove as much liquid as possible. Chop the basil finely.
- Place the softened butter in a medium bowl with the lemon zest and salt. Add the chopped basil and stir it into the butter. If you like, beat the soft butter with a spatula or electric beaters to lighten it. Alternatively, place everything in the bowl of a small blender or food processor and pulse until lightly aerated, being careful not to melt the butter.
- Swirl the butter into a serving bowl or storage container. Use right away or refrigerate until cold, 1 hour and up to several weeks. Or freeze for longer storage.