I’m a HUGE fan of making compound butter at home. I find them pretty easy and fun to put together. My collection of compound butter includes bacon and brown sugar butter, and cinnamon butter.
These butter are my one-stop solution every time I choose to fancy up my favorite snacks. Have you tried topping corn on the cob with bacon-flavored butter or spreading cinnamon butter on hot biscuits or cornbread?
What’s more, my quest to enhance my favorite dishes with compound butter doesn’t stop there! Behold, my very own tarragon butter recipe!
It’s a herb-flavored butter consisting of three essential ingredients: butter, fresh tarragon, and lime zest. Salt and pepper get added to the mixture for the additional seasoning.
Perfect to flavor sirloin steaks and cooked veggies, making this tarragon butter is straightforward. Just blend all the ingredients, slide it into the fridge, and you get a fantastic spread for fish, chicken, veggies, and more.
If you’re curious on how to make this flavored butter at home, then this comprehensive guide should free your mind! The guide features the only facts you need to know about tarragon butter creation and essential tips on making one perfectly.
Before I tackle the flavor profile of tarragon butter, let’s discuss first the key ingredients included in this compound butter.
The secret behind the unique taste of tarragon butter is the combination of fresh tarragon and lemon zest. If you’re new to it, tarragon is a leafy green herb that is often included in a variety of recipes such as salad, sauces, as well as fish and chicken recipes. Its pungent and anise or licorice-like taste harmonizes with lemon, creating a burst of interesting flavor profiles.
For additional flavor, you can add chopped shallots, scallions, or dried red pepper flakes. Also, I recommend using fresh tarragon leaves than those dried ones as the former has a more intense flavor than the latter.
What’s the best butter for infused butter recipes?
Have you seen those unsalted Kerrygold butter in your nearby grocery store? Well, you better pick those for this recipe! Salted ones work fine too, but if you want to control the amount of salt, I suggest using unsalted butter and add a bit of salt later on.
Always remember that the type of butter can significantly affect your final product, so choosing a high-quality butter like Kerrygold will give a satisfactory result in your recipe.
Can I use margarine to make a spread?
Though other cooks substitute margarine in place of butter, I wouldn’t recommend using it for this recipe as margarine is strongly flavored with salt and chemical aftertaste. Stick with high-quality butter then you’re all good!
How to use tarragon butter?
There are a bunch of savory dishes you can partner with this tarragon butter recipe.
Chop off a medallion size (coin) of the butter and toss it into your favorite sauce or spread on garlic bread. You can also top cuts of meat, particularly grilled chicken, salmon, beef fillets, pork chops, roasted turkey or chicken, rib-eye steak, or combined with pan roast scallops and grilled asparagus.
How to store tarragon butter
When properly stored, you’ll be able to enjoy your tarragon flavored butter for a year. But it’s recommended that you consume it within four to six months for the best flavor.
To store the butter, make sure to roll the butter in wax paper. If you don’t have wax paper, use plastic wrap or parchment paper instead. Then put it into a sealed container or freezer bag before sliding it into the freezer. Label the container using a permanent marker to track the expiration date of your butter.
Homemade tarragon butter ingredients
Here are the ingredients I use in creating my homemade tarragon butter.
Butter – Use high-quality butter like Kerrygold. Pick the unsalted one if you want to control the amount of salt in your butter. Omit the extra salt if you’re using salted butter.
Tarragon – It’s better to use fresh tarragon in making this compound butter as it has a stronger flavor than dried ones.
Lemon – Lemon zest enhances the flavor of your butter, so better not forget them. You can substitute minced lemon verbena or lemon balm if you’re running out of the ingredient.
Salt – I use sea salt in this recipe, but kosher salt works great too.
Tarragon butter recipe
1 pound of high-quality butter like Kerrygold
3/4 c fresh tarragon
1 t lemon zest
½ t of sea salt
½ t of pepper
Scissors or kitchen shears
1. Empty the sticks of butter into a glass bowl and let it sit to soften to room temperature for an hour. Don’t microwave or heat the butter at all, so you’ll need a bit of patience.
2. While waiting for the butter to soften, remove the tarragon leaves from the stems. Set this aside.
3. Then zest the lemon and set it aside.
4. Stir the butter to bring it to a smooth, batter-like consistency using a wooden spoon. Add the tarragon leaves, lemon zest, sea salt, and pepper. Combine well until the tarragon is evenly distributed. Then set the bowl aside.
5. Pre-cut wax paper works particularly well, but the rolls are fine too. Pull out a 10-inch length of wax paper. You may need to weigh both ends down, so it doesn’t curl up.
Using a teaspoon, spoon out the butter mixture toward the end of the sheet, width-wise, until it’s about as long as a stick of butter, about 5 inches. It’s very soft at this stage.
Turn the butter end toward you. Using both hands, roll the paper and butter up as you might with a burrito or an egg roll wrapper. As you roll “plump” the roll as you go, so the butter fills out the wax paper. It’s ok if it’s not perfectly cylindrical—that’s part of the charm of homemade gifts.
When you get to the end, one piece of tape should keep this together, but you may not even need it. You will be embellishing the ends with ribbon, so cut a six-inch ribbon curl for each and tie this off, making a “balloon” end on each side.
If there’s a lot of wax paper on each end, trim off with kitchen shears or scissors. Add a gift tag to the center or dangled from another section of the ribbon tied to one end.
6. Since these will still be soft, place them carefully in the refrigerator, laid flat so they can harden up as wax-paper cylinders. They should be good in your refrigerator for a couple of months, generally as long as typical butter is kept covered and cold.
You can freeze them for a year, but I recommend that you place the entire roll into a freezer baggie to protect them from freezer burn.
The bottom line
The secret to making the best tarragon butter is to ensure that the butter is fully softened. This allows you to mix the ingredients freely. Also, keep in mind to pick fresh tarragon and high-quality butter to bring out its rich flavor.
And then, there’s so much more once you add this smooth, creamy, and flavorful tarragon butter to your dishes. Whether you top it on a rib-eye steak or combine it with your favorite vegetables like grilled asparagus, you’ll never go wrong with this flavored butter!