Now that the snow is a distant memory and the growing season is well underway, I am now continuously provided with a lovely assortment of ingredients to add to my repertoire. Nettles, which are proudly my favorite leafy green, is taking on many shapes and forms in my kitchen. From gnocchi to falafels, these stinging greens make their way onto my dinner table every few days.
With fast growing grass as far as the eye can see, local butter has turned from an off white to a beautifully yellowy-orange color. The cows, now out on pasture are diving in and consuming nutrient rich grass which help create quality butter.
Compound butter is a simple technique that blends various flavors and seasonings into softened butter. Once complete, it can be stored in the fridge for months. This springy butter turns a gorgeous green color and works with anything from scrambled eggs to roasted fish or steak.
- 4-6 cups nettle leaves
- 8 ounces raw or cultured butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prep the nettles by cutting the leaves away from the stems. You will want about 8 cups of loosely packed nettle leaves.
- Bring 8 cups of salted water to a simmer. Add the nettles, use a slotted spoon to submerge, then blanch for just 45 seconds or so. Immediately dunk the leaves in icy cold water to stop the cooking and to help retain the vibrant green color. Once cooled, squeeze to remove as much water as possible. You should end up with about a heaping 1/4 cup of nettles.
- Cube the butter than transfer to a food processor along with the nettles, salt, and pepper. Pulse to break down, then continue to process until smooth and well combined. Use a rubber spatula as needed to scrape the sides down.
- Once properly combined, you can roll in parchment and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use or store loose in a Pyrex container.