Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Basil Butter

with 23 comments

So I mentioned it a little bit last week, but I thought I’d take just a minute to talk about how much I really like to smash things into butter. Blueberries, strawberries, GARLIC!, and this week basil.

basil butter
I have the fondest little girl memories of my dad and I sharing a big basket of hot popovers with freshly whipped strawberry butter. When I was big enough to want to recreate that happy memory in my own kitchen, I figured out that strawberry butter isn’t that complicated (popovers are quite another story). If you haven’t ever had pumpkin butter, you are missing out on one of the greatest things life has to offer, and I’m not even exaggerating about that. Apple butter? Almost as good (not that thick weird apple butter that’s canned like jam and resembles nothing of apples or butter. Sorry. I can’t get down with that stuff.). This week basil butter has made its way into my fridge, and my life, and I’m loving every buttery good bit.

I have these basil plants that are seriously the size of small trees. I have an over-abundance of basil. It’s really out of control. Add to the gigantor basil crop this problem I have where I can’t let anything go to waste; no leftover goes uneaten, no fresh garden herbs are left untouched. I’ve made more pesto (recipe for that coming up this week, just in case basil is taking over your life, too) and margherita pizzas than I really care to discuss right now. Let’s not forget the bruschetta. But still there was MORE BASIL.

So I smooshed (technical kitchen term) the basil into butter.

fresh basil in butter
If you aren’t sure exactly how to fit basil butter into your life, I have a couple of really amazing ideas. Why don’t you…

  • spread it on warm crusty baguette. try not to eat the whole loaf.
  • slice the baguette horizontally like a giant sandwich, smear it with basil butter, and make a “french bread” pizza out of it. because vegetables may be included with this version, it’s important to just go ahead and eat the whole loaf.
  • drop some basil butter into a pot of hot cooked and drained pasta, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and call that dinner.
  • saute chicken in it
  • saute vegetables in it
  • use it to make some really fancy macaroni and cheese. use something sort of special like gouda.
  • I could keep going here, but you get the idea.
  • Oh! One more. I made this recipe from How Sweet It Is. Roasted Basil Butter Parmesan Shrimp. Gahhhhhhh.

basil butter shrimp
How much do you want basil butter in your life right now?

If you’re anything like me, that photo made you want it A LOT. So here’s the really great part: you only need two ingredients.

Basil Butter


butter at room temperature

basil, very finely chopped

**kosher salt is optional**

To Make

Use half as many tablespoons of basil as you have of butter. So if you’re using a whole stick of butter (8 tablespoons), then you’ll need about 4 tablespoons of basil. If you are using salted butter, don’t add any additional salt. It’s too much. But if you’re using unsalted butter, sprinkle in kosher salt about 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you feel like it’s right.

You could use a food processor to pull all this together, but I just use my hands.

In a medium bowl smoosh the butter together with the basil until the basil is evenly distributed throughout. If you’re adding salt, smoosh it into the butter in the same way. Shape it into a log, or a circle, or get craaaaayzay and press it into those little molds that are cool shapes. Suuuper idea for a fancy schmancy dinner party. If you’re shaping the butter into a log (as seen pictured above) wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

how to use basil butter


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

August 31, 2012 at 8:21 pm

23 Responses

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  1. I am making this tomorrow. And buying some good bread. Can you freeze butter???

    Year Of Healthier Living

    August 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm

  2. Mmmm this butter looks utterly gorgeous 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

    Choc Chip Uru

    August 31, 2012 at 10:41 pm

  3. Ok compound butter queen! Looks great:) Try Gremolata Butter – its a wow! Gremolata is garlic, parsley, and lemon rind all minced up together and is seriously delish for punching up some flavor!


    September 1, 2012 at 8:03 am

    • So ACTUALLY I’ve almost made this variation. My parsley didn’t do so well this year… the sun fried it. But I have made butter with lemon zest and garlic. Yuuuuuum. I had no idea it had a fancy name! You’re so smart.

      Oh! Side note… when you work in greasy spoon diners, that oily weirdness that gets ladled onto the flat top grill is called compound butter. And there’s not one buttery thing about it. How bout that.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

      • I’d call it “composite” butter – as in something very fake;)


        September 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

  4. Mmm, this looks good. I’ve never made different flavoured butters before – this looks a good palce to start though! I bet it would be yum over some new potatoes in spring too. I keep thinking I’m going to start growing herbs on our balcnoy, but I never really know where to start with it – when to plant, what to do, when to do it…so the balcony remains empty of herbs for yet another year!


    September 1, 2012 at 9:02 am

    • A tip on growing herbs… they are really hard to start from seed in a pot (I have started many a flower and veggie plant from seed, and I can get the herbs to germinate, but they don’t GROW. They are just sad little plants). But they do grow well in pots. And things like chives actually make very pretty house plants. So you’ll probably have to wait until spring (since your climate there is sort of similar… the seasons are the same anyway) to find seedlings, but if you can find a nursey, grow some herbs! Basil is totally resilient.

      But for now, just buy some herbs and put them in the butter. Basil buttery new potatoes… mmmmm. Someone suggested salmon here somewhere. Gah. People are brilliant.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

  5. STOP IT, STOP IT!!! There’s a woman trying to stay on a DIET here!! You’re killing me!!


    September 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

    • I’m SORRY!!! Just do like I do and for every deliciously empty calorie you consume, do more jumping jacks. Or a wall sit. I will happily work out a 1 minute wall sit for a cookie. Or basil buttered bread. I can exercise my little heart out, but I really suck at dieting.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

  6. I love all of your ideas for using basil butter. I want to swirl some into mashed potatoes or slather some onto grilled corn on the cob. And now you’ve got me thinking about popovers…mmmmm! I’m curious to see what else you’ll be doing with your basil trees, I mean plants.

    I really want to make that shrimp dish for Sunday supper!

    {Main St. Cuisine}

    September 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    • Thanks, Allison! I put the link for bruschetta up there… that called for a good bit of basil. Corn on the cob is genius. I think I may work out some tomato basil soup and eat it with my face over the air conditioning vent.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

  7. What a great idea…my basil is out of control and this is just what’s was looking for! Thanks:)

    Peri's Spice Ladle

    September 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    • What’s up with the crazy basil plants this season? Mine is seriously almost as tall as I am! If you have any more creative ideas for what to do with an abundance of basil, I’d love to hear them! Thanks, Peri!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 2, 2012 at 11:18 am

      • You bet! I am making and freezing bucket loads of pesto…and I read somewhere about basil cubes for stews and sauces- blend the basil in a food processor, put them in ice-trays, once frozen, the cubes can be stored in ziplochs:) Keep those basil ideas coming…

        Peri's Spice Ladle

        September 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

  8. I have a huge pot of basil so I will make this today! I’m thinking of how good it will be on steak or salmon..yum 🙂 Love all your ideas!


    September 2, 2012 at 4:35 am

    • There is a restaurant here that serves a grilled chicken breast stuffed with proscuitto and fontina cheese and then the cover it in sauteed mushrooms and a lemon basil butter sauce.

      Mmmmmmm. Salmon.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      September 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

      • mmmmm that sounds amazing Heather! My mouth is watering at the thought of it.


        September 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm

  9. Way to knock my apple butter lol I am currently loving me some apple butter…but that’s probably because I don’t eat regular butter…if I did though I would be making all kinds of flavored butter cause they all sound amazing!!! The popovers with strawberry butter needs to be one of your blogs…I love popovers and that though has officially taken over my brain haha Nom nom nom!!!


    September 2, 2012 at 9:42 pm

  10. My 7-year-old and I can eat butter straight up. Is that gross? Seriously, we are addicted to the stuff. But basil butter is taking things to a whole new level! Fabulous idea my friend…love the “butter loaf.”


    September 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm

  11. […] it sometimes). Like this baguette I made with two purposes in mind: 1. to smear with the remaining basil butter in my fridge, and 2. to dip in my tomato basil soup (recipe for that in the next few days). Freshly baked […]

  12. […] see all those tomatoes in that photo up there? And the basil that’s gone completely and insanely out of control? We grew alla […]

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