This is the time of year when everything’s ready in the garden at the same time as everything else. We’ve been up to our eyeballs in plums, processing tomatoes into sauce for the freezer or chutney, making pesto with various greenery, and we have runner beans coming out of our ears. Good job we love them so much – and that we know you should grow the things you like to eat!
All our efforts in the garden this year has meant our herb crop has done really well – we finally have plenty of thyme, not just a straggly pot-bound plant or two, and one of the great pleasures of the summer has been a good free-range chicken, roasted in herb and garlic butter. Something that you can’t really do in the winter without buying the herbs in. Even if you keep your herbs going through the dark months, they don’t tend to be as profuse as they are now.
So, knowing that you can freeze butter, it seemed like a good idea to get a load of herbs to mix in with the butter for later in the year. The herbs we used are basically what we’ve got lots of in the garden: thyme, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, parsley and lovage (not too much lovage, as it’s very strong flavoured).
This isn’t really a recipe, just a really simple set of instructions. To 100g of butter add a generous handful of chopped herbs with pepper (and salt if you’re using unsalted butter), mix well, and then roll it and pinch it into a kind of Christmas cracker shape in greaseproof paper, like this:
Now pop it in the freezer all you have to do later in the year is to remember to defrost the packet in time, crush a clove or two of garlic to mix in, and you have a nice versatile and summery ingredient. Great smeared over a chicken before roasting, with lamb chops or steaks, or to make some retro style garlic bread. It will keep for around 3 months in the freezer.