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May 25, 2010

Unsalted butter (Recipe: chive and parsley butter) {vegetarian}

Asparagus, grilled and topped with chive and parsley butter

Visitors to the 2009 Iowa State Fair saw Michael Jackson's moon walk.

At this summer's fair, they'll see Neil Armstrong's moon walk.

I guess one moon walk sculpted in hundreds of pounds of unsalted butter just wasn't enough for Iowa.

Bakers prefer unsalted butter for its consistency. Salted butters vary in the amount of salt they contain, so by starting with unsalted butter, a baker can determine exactly how much salt to use in a recipe.

I wonder how much salt goes into a butter moon walk.

What is unsalted butter?
A solid spread, generally made from cow's milk, made by beating cream until the fat globules adhere. Unsalted butter has no added salt; regular butter has varying amounts of salt.

How/where to store:
In the main part of the refrigerator (not in the door), for up to a month past the sell-by date. Or in the freezer, for up to six months.

More facts about unsalted butter, and ingredient photos, in The Perfect Pantry:
Unsalted butter (Recipe: Scotch shortbread)

Chive and parsley butter. So versatile! #vegetarian

Chive and parsley butter

If you have time, make this several hours, or even several days, ahead, to allow the flavors to bloom into the butter. If you wish, add one clove of roasted garlic, and vary the herbs to your taste and to what's available in your garden. The recipe can be doubled or tripled (or more); precise measurements are not important.

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup, or 4 ounces, or 115 grams)
1 tsp roughly chopped chives or garlic chives
2 tsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Pinch of kosher salt, to taste

Directions

Let the butter soften slightly at room temperature, approximately one hour.

In a food processor, chop the chives and parsley together until finely minced. Add the butter and salt to the processor, and pulse until well combined. Taste, and add salt if needed.

Cover the butter with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to several days.


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Cardamom shortbread
Meyer lemon curd
Espresso nut cookies
Risotto with shrimp and asparagus
White chocolate brownies

Other recipes that use unsalted butter:
Perfect pie crust, from Simply Recipes
Brown butter baumkuchen, from Cast Sugar
Key lime raspberry bars, from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
French pear tart, from On the Road and In the Kitchen with Dorie
Chilean sea bass with butter, caper, lemon sauce, from Culinary Disasters

Comments

It is also unsalted butter for me anytime and I can play around with how I want to use the unsalted version.

This would taste good on so many things!

That is an ingredient I always have around, Lydia - can't bake without it! :)

Once, long ago at my first job - at my first "come over for a night with the girls at my house" invite; I was in charge of the bringing the bread. They assigned that to me because they knew a single girl of 22 didn't have much in the fridge besides diet soda and leftover take-out!
but I was wanted to impress -so I made a "compound butter" to bring along! Needless to say - it wasn't as delicious as the homemade german chocolate cake someone brought but they were impressed!

Tigerfish, I love the sweeter, cleaner taste of unsalted butter and use that as my go-to for everything.

Kalyn, I'll vary the herbs as the garden starts producing more, too. That lemon thyme we've planted works really well in this.

Patricia, every baker I know says the same thing.

Carol, as good as butter is, it will never top chocolate cake!

I try to always keep unsalted butter in the freezer, especially for baking. Your chive and parsley butter would be delicious on pasta or crusty toasted bread. (or asparagus, or peas, or...) I used some fresh garlic scapes in a butter a while back in a similar recipe. You just can't beat the taste of real butter and fresh herbs! Thanks for the recipe!

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