Parsley butter, often used to top certain dishes, is essentially plain butter flavored with parsley and other ingredients. The creation of this ingredient or condiment is quite simple and involves the use of soft butter that is then mixed with parsley that has been rough or finely chopped. Other ingredients such as lemon juice, salt, and pepper can also be used in the creation of parsley butter, as can other herbs. Once made, it can be used immediately to top meats and vegetables, though it can also be chilled like regular butter and used at a later time.
In its simplest form, parsley butter lives up to its name and can be made from only two ingredients. Plain, unsalted butter is typically used since this allows a cook to control the amount of salt he or she wishes to have in the final product. Fresh parsley is typically used in making parsley butter as it has a vibrant flavor and color that makes the butter more attractive and inviting. The herbs are often chopped either roughly or finely, depending on the preferences of the cook making it.
Soft, not melted, butter is used and is usually placed in a bowl with the parsley. This mixture is then stirred and combined together to form the proper combination, which is soft and creamy. The prepared parsley butter can then be used immediately, and a small spoonful is often placed onto a piece of grilled meat or hot vegetables to melt.
Additional ingredients can also be used in the preparation of parsley butter. Some coarse or kosher salt is often added to this dish, which helps soften any parsley stems and enhances the flavor of the herbs in the butter. Cracked pepper can also be included, and some recipes may call for lemon juice which is added slowly and combined with the butter and parsley. Garlic and chives can also be used to make flavored butters, as can other herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage.
One of the great strengths of parsley butter is that it can be stored and used in much the same way as standard butter. It can be chilled slightly and then rolled into a log shape between cling wrap or wax paper. Once chilled, parsley butter can be used in slices on hot foods, allowed to melt just like regular butter. The addition of fresh parsley does reduce the lifespan of its freshness, however, so it should be stored in an airtight container and used within about two weeks.