Wine Culture Magazine

This garlic & herb butter is delicious on steak, poultry, fish, bread and potatoes. Getty Images photo

Compound butters are a cook’s secret weapon. You can make them ahead of time and have them ready in the fridge, and all you need to do is slice off a piece and pop it on a steak or whatever you like for a boost of complex flavour. This garlicky herb butter is a classic, delicious on meat, poultry, fish, bread or potatoes—you could even melt a pat of it in a fry pan to cook shrimp or delicate white fish. Feel free to adjust the herbs to your liking, and see below for more variations.


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced

1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp minced parsley or chives, or a combination

1 tsp finely grated lemon peel

¼ tsp black pepper, or to taste

¼ tsp fine sea salt, or to taste


In a bowl, mash all the ingredients together. Scrape the butter onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, form into a log and wrap well. Chill for at least 3 hours before using. Serves 8

Note that a compound butter will last for maybe a week in the fridge; any longer and you will want to freeze it. Make sure it is well-wrapped, and use within three months.


Smoked Paprika & Rosemary Butter
Serve with: Steak, chicken, pork, fish or grilled veggies.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp salt

Cinnamon Maple Butter
Serve with: Toast, pancakes, baked sweet potatoes.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
¾ tsp ground cinnamon

Jalapeño Lime Butter
Serve with: Grilled meat, chicken, fish, shrimp or veggies, especially on tortillas.

1 stick unsalted butter
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced
Finely grated peel of ½ lime
½ tsp salt

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