Compound butter is one of the easiest ways to add a punch of flavor to cooked vegetables, steak, chops, and fish. And, it’s terrific slathered on good bread. It consists of softened butter to which you add several complimentary, flavor-packed ingredients. Garlic and herbs are the most popular choices, but you are only limited by your imagination. Savory and sweet spices, citrus zest and juice, honey, brown sugar, mushrooms, artichokes; these are all components of compound butters that I have enjoyed. But this is the first time I’ve made compound butter with black garlic.
I spotted this unique ingredient in my local supermarket co-op, and I had to give it a try. Black garlic achieves its dark color and rich, complex flavor through a high heat fermentation process. The texture is similar to roasted garlic, and the taste is wonderful! It is savory and sweet, mild, but with a little bit of tang. My black garlic is from Blue Fortune Farm, right here in Wisconsin. You can read all about their organic, black garlic here, at their website. Compound butter is really simple to make; just soften some unsalted butter, add your chosen ingredients, and mix together. I added minced ginger, cilantro, and a little soy sauce, as well as the black garlic to my butter.
Form the butter into a log-shaped roll and wrap it tightly in parchment or plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the butter until firm. When you are ready to serve, unwrap and slice the butter, then place it atop your hot vegetables, fish, or meat. Or serve it slightly softened to spread on bread.
I steamed some fresh, tender green beans and topped them with the garlic, ginger, cilantro butter. They were delicious! So give this simple condiment a try; you probably have all the ingredients you need in the pantry or refrigerator right now. And don’t forget to seek out black garlic in your market. It adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the butter that ordinary garlic just can’t match. Now to try it on fish, and pork, and…
Black Garlic Compound Butter
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 large cloves black garlic
- 1 heaping teaspoon finely minced ginger root
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- A pinch of kosher salt, or to taste
- Place the softened butter in a small mixing bowl. Carefully chop the black garlic as finely as possible, without mashing it too much. You want it to be visible in the butter. Gently mix the chopped garlic, minced ginger, and cilantro into the butter. Add the soy sauce, and adjust the amount to your taste. The soy sauce will darken the butter a little. If you like you can add some kosher salt to get the level of saltiness that your palate prefers.
- Spoon the butter mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Form the butter into a log shape and roll it up in the paper (or plastic), twisting the ends to secure. Refrigerate until firm.
- When ready to serve, slice the compound butter atop hot vegetables, steak, chops, or fish. It will melt and impart its lovely flavor to the food.
- Store the compound butter in the refrigerator for several days; freeze for longer storage.