Close to ten years ago, we shared a dairy lunch meal with our good friends, Neal and Marilyn, at their new home in Jerusalem. They ordered food from Village Green, a well-known and delicious vegetarian restaurant on Jaffa Street right in the heart of Jerusalem. They ordered a lavish assortment of salads, quiches, pastas and desserts.
It was a luncheon to remember. The food was delicious, colorful and plentiful. The camaraderie among the adults and the kids was remarkable. But, there was one stand-out rockstar at that luncheon.
It was the herbed butter.
Village Green had packaged the food with small individual pats of herbed butter and those delicious flavorful butter treats transformed that afternoon.
So, ten years later, I decided that it was time to recreate that buttery sensation. I simply added basil to the food processor and pulsed it into a rough pesto. I then added softened butter and processed it until it was well combined.
Best of all, when I served the butter, it transported us back instantly to that afternoon in the heart of Israel. Hopefully, this simple upgrade to your dairy meal will create pleasant memories for you, too….
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cleaned and pat dry (see kosher notes)
1 pound salted or unsalted butter
Place basil leaves in the food processor. Using the s-blade, pulse until roughly ground. Cut butter into small cubes and add to food processor. Pulse until smooth and well-combined.
Alternatively, chop basil. Soften butter by using the time-defrost mode on the microwave. Defrost in 30 second intervals until softened but not melted. Combine chopped basil and softened butter until well-combined
Place pesto butter onto parchment paper and roll. Twist ends of parchment roll. Refrigerate until firm.
Cut into thin slices before serving.
Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore herbs require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing, unless purchased with a reputable kosher hashgacha (certification). Kashrut authorities differ on the proper checking of broccoli. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using and preparing fresh herbs.
For an additional wow, place basil butter in individual molds or interesting ice cube trays. Freeze until it is easy to pop out into individual decorative pats of butter.
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers and use as starter for dairy soups and omelets or as a delicious accompaniment to roasted or steamed vegetables and fish.