This compound butter is simple, yet incredibly versatile. It can be frozen and pulled out for a fast, impressive dinner accoutrement. Used under the skin to baste roasted poultry, tossed with roasted vegetables, mixed into mashed potatoes, or just spread on dinner rolls, the flavor is subtle but compelling. We love it on grilled fish, because the taste of roasted garlic brings us back to summer nights along the Mediterranean coast.
2 heads of garlic, top ¼ inch sliced off
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, rosemary, or sage
Pinch of smoked paprika
Fleur de sel (sea salt) and white pepper, to season
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Place the cut heads of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Close foil over garlic and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Squeeze garlic from the skins into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork.
Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
[Chef’s Note: If you wish, you may also roll this compound butter up in plastic wrap, form into a log, and twist the ends tightly. Keep in the refrigerator or in the freezer until needed, and slice off ¼” pats to top a grilled steak, dinner rolls, or to finish off a sauce.]
Recipe by Mark Tafoya
Photo by Donna Zotter