Summer Essential: Herb Butter

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This is one of the easiest ways to dress up a backyard BBQ — or any meal, for that matter. Simple to make, lovely to look at, and full of flavor. Click below for our tips on making and using herb butter...

You can certainly make your own butter, adding a palmful of herbs at the end, but you don't have to. The even faster method is to slightly soften a stick of butter (get our tips on that here), then mash in your own blend of chopped, fresh herbs with a fork.

We like to start with unsalted butter so we can add coarse, kosher salt. And as far as how to serve it, we like to shape it into a log, roll it in plastic wrap or parchment paper, and throw it in the fridge (or the freezer if you need it sooner). Then you can slice it and have nice, round patties.

A little coin-shaped nugget of herb butter is perfect for corn-on-the-cob. While the butter melts and drips into the crevices between kernels, flecks of green scatter on top. Beautiful. But it's also nice to put a pad on top of a simply grilled piece of meat as soon as it comes off the grill or out of the sauté pan.

Or stir it into mashed potatoes... spread it on fresh bread... serve it in a bowl with some radishes as an appetizer...

How do you use herb butter? What are your favorite herbs to add?

Related: Tell Us: Is There an Herb You Can't Stand?

(Image: Flickr member diddi, licensed under Creative Commons)