Have you guys been following the slog (a combination of 'salon' and 'blog,' oh brother) over at the recently relaunched bittman.com? It's quite good, kind of like the blog that I always hoped the now defunct Bitten blog at the NYTimes site would be. In addition to regular posts from the man himself, there's a rotating cast of bloggers writing about recipes, cooking methods, politics of food, and everything in between. Included in this stable is Cathy Erway of Not Eating Out In NY and lately of Lunch at Sixpoint, who recently wrote about making herb butter, the best way (after pesto) of preserving fresh herbs in your freezer.
Which reminded me, I made ramp butter at the end of ramp season last month, looking to extend the rampiness a bit longer. Then I completely forgot to blog about it. This tends to happen a lot. Compound Butter is one of the simplest recipes in the book, and its ratio of ease of making to impressing your friends is astronomical. Cathy goes into more detail than this over at the slog (really guys, you may want to consider slog, slog does not sound like a fun place to visit on the internet), but basically: let butter soften, finely chop any herbs you like (or a combination), mash together, form into a log and use or freeze. Lemon juice is optional (I skipped it) and salt and pepper are too, though those I used. That's it.
"It's best used as a finishing ingredient in sauces and also on grilled or broiled meats and vegetables," Bittman writes in Everything. Then he gives a list of "15 Easy Flavorings for Compound Butter" (ginger, scallions, capers, peach or plum, olives, chiles, spices, etc.) and "6 Almost-As-Easy Flavorings for Compound Butter" (roasted garlic, sauteed shallots, crispy bacon). So really, anything you want.
Wait, did he say crispy bacon?
Spicing Up Butter--With Herbs [bittman]