Saturday, August 15, 2009

You Can Never Have Enough Butter

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Even though school is starting, I'm still in cookout mode, so today I thought I'd share two very easy little treats that perk up a weekday cookout.

By now, your basil plant is probably looking fairly bushy. Time to pick off some of those leaves and make basil butter. I'm something of a purist here. The clean flavor of basil doesn't need a lot to enhance it. Serve this on top of a simple grilled steak, pork tenderloin, or piece of grilled chicken. It's amazing what a difference it makes. To be honest, I almost never grill fish without it.

Basil Butter

1/2 stick (four tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/3 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a mini-food processor. Blend, scraping sides as needed, until thoroughly blended. If you have butter pat molds that your mother-in-law gave you, and you thought you'd never use, this is your chance. Press into molds or simply scoop the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and gently roll into a cylindrical shape. Refrigerate. Slice and serve on top of meat or veggies.

Garlic Bread on the Grill

1 small loaf unsliced bread (double the recipe for a large loaf)
1/2 stick (four tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. In a small pan, melt the butter over low heat.
2. Add the salt and the garlic.
3. Let cook very gently over low heat for about 10 minutes. (Garlic burns easily, so keep an eye on it.)
4. Slice the bread, but do not cut all the way through. Leave it intact across the bottom.
5. When the garlic is soft, and the butter is infused with the garlic flavor, pour or spoon the garlic and butter between the slices.
6. Place the entire loaf on the preheated grill but not directly over the flames. A corner or shelf is a good choice. Close the lid on the grill and let warm for 8-10 minutes.
7. Watch the person in charge of the grill carefully. This bread has been known to disappear while warming.


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  1. How interesting. I've never thought of making basil butter, but I will be making it from now on.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen and thanks for including me in the Blogs We Love. I'm very flattered. You have a beautiful blog and it's a very clever idea to feature different people on different days. See you again soon.

  2. Krista this sounds wonderful! I think I'm going to head to the farmers' market this morning and pick up some basil and bread. Yum.

    My daughter eats butter with EVERYTHING. I think she'd eat it straight from the stick if I'd let her. She thanks you for this recipe, too. :)


  3. LOL on the "mystery" of the disappearing garlic bread! Wonderful idea to make it on the grill. I especially like your idea of serving the basil buter on fish. I'm always looking for new thoughts on simple fish dishes and this is brilliant!


  4. How I love basil! Now if you melt a little cheese on that garlic bread... You know me and cheese.

    Avery (rhymes with Savory)

  5. I was wondering what to do with all my basil! This is only the second year I've grown it and I went a little "basil nuts" with three plants. Thanks so much, Krista. What a wonderful idea!


  6. Thanks, everyone. The basil butter is so easy, but it adds a little gourmet touch.

    Julie, have you made pesto yet with your basil? I have a great recipe!

  7. MMmmm basil butter sounds amazing, I once made basil-oil by frying basil in olive oil and it was scrumptious so I can only imagine this level of yum.

  8. I swear I'm going to make some herb butter one of these days. Unfortunitly, mu food processor is broke and I'm waiting for a new one. Great way to use up basil and it freeses well to boot!

  9. I would have never have thought to do that on a grill. If I had, I wouldn't have thought to have done it directly on the grill without tinfoil.

    Friends have taken us camping and I have been searching for gourmet camping recipes. I might have to try that, next time.