Herb Browned Butter Recipe

Use the fresh herbs from your garden to make this rich version of herb butter.
Toast with Slabs of Herb Butter

Herb Browned Butter

Browned butter pairs well with hearty herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Browned butter pairs well with hearty herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme.

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There are flavor combinations that are meant to go together: coffee and cream, milk and cookies, eggs and bacon. Joining this list of incredible food combinations is herbs and browned butter. Longtime members of the butter fan club already know that butter makes everything taste better. I have a new motto for butter lovers out there: browned butter makes everything taste great!

Herbs have a long history of enhancing the flavors of food. Pairing herbs with different dishes is like choosing the right wine for your dinner. For me, nothing goes better with browned butter than the trinity of savory herbs: sage, thyme and rosemary. What is brown butter? It’s regular butter that has been heated until its milk solids brown. The result is a distinctive toasty, nutty flavor that is unbelievably good. Add the earthy savoriness of the herbal trio to the browned butter and you have a delectable spread that tastes wonderful on any roasted fowl or hearty bread.

How to brown butter

Browning butter is not hard, but it does take diligence. Once you start, you must babysit the saucepan until the process is done. Trust me, burnt butter is not a good smell in your kitchen.

You will need:

  • A handful of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme
  • ½ lb of butter (2 sticks)
  • A heavy bottomed medium saucepan
  • A sheet of wax paper

Finely chop the herbs and put them aside for later.

Place the butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan.

Turn the heat to medium high. At first, the melted butter will foam. The foam is the milk solids.

In the next phase, the butter will look like soap bubbles. The butter will start to make popping, hissing and crackling sounds. No need to panic; this is normal.

The “soap bubbles” will intensify.

After the snapping, popping and cracking symphony, the milk solids will begin to sink to the bottom of the pan.

You’ll smell a wonderful nutty aroma and then all at once, the milk solids will drop to the bottom of the pan.

At this point remove the pan from the heat. Add the chopped herbs to the browned butter. When you add the herbs, the butter will bubble up and get fussy again. This is normal as well.

Pour the melted butter and herbs into a bowl. Let the butter come to room temperature. It needs to be in a semisolid state in order to whip. Refrigerate the butter briefly if needed before you mix. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until it’s fluffy.

Place the whipped butter on the sheet of wax paper. Try to make it into a “log.”

Roll the butter inside the wax paper like a one-inch diameter cigar. Twist the ends like a candy wrapper.

Pop the cylinder of butter in the freezer in a plastic zip baggie. The butter will last for months. When you need some herb brown butter, slice off a piece and thaw to room temperature.

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