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Elegant Herb Butters
by Brenda Hyde
Herb butters are easy to prepare and add elegance to any meal. They can be added to cooked fresh vegetables for a special touch. For an easy summer treat, grill ears of corn for your dinner guests and offer them several different butters for spreading. If you need to take something with you to a dinner, simply grab a loaf of fresh Italian or French bread and prepare a bowl or shaped log of herb butter to wrap and present to your hostess. Best of all, herb butters are simple and inexpensive. They can be frozen for several weeks if covered tightly. Start with these easy recipes, then use your imagination to create your own combinations.

Basil Butter

Combine 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shredded leaves. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Use on vegetables, chicken or fish. You can also use to cook scrambled eggs.

Sage Butter

Cream together 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup minced sage leaves. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Wonderful on seafood or chicken, on fresh green beans or hot biscuits.

Cilantro Butter

You will need:
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1 tsp. lemon juice

Blanch garlic in boiling water for 10 minutes, remove,cool and peel, then mince. In small bowl cream the butter and add other ingredients. Pack into small container and refrigerate. This has many uses such as spreading on fresh warm tortillas,mini corn muffins or baguettes.

Fines Herbs Butter

You will need:
1/2 cup soft butter
1 Tbls. chives
1 Tbls. parsley
1 Tbls. tarragon
1 Tbls. Chervil

Chop the herbs fine, mix with butter. Place in container. This is great on most vegetables, fish or French bread.

Special Butter for Fish

You will need:
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp. lemon juice
dash of salt and pepper 2 Tbls. chopped fennel leaves Combine and refrigerate. Can be used on baked fish.

Other Herbs

You may use the basic mix of 1/2 cup softened butter with other herbs in your garden or from the produce department. Chives make a wonderful butter that can be used on steamed or microwaved summer squash, corn or muffins. Don't forget Marjoram or Oregano for fresh Italian or French bread!

Gift Giving Ideas:

Even though butters are refrigerated you can give a fresh basket for someone recovering at home from an illness or operation,or someone returning from a trip where the refrigerator may not be stocked, a housewarming present or a special anniversary. Place one or two herb butters, a baguette, dried pasta, colorful napkins, chocolate, or scented candles. Place in a nice wicker basket and you have a one of a kind, handmade gift!

About the author:
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer and editor of the online magazine, Seeds of Knowledge. You can visit her at
http://www.seedsofknowledge.com

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