This recipe is a really a formula for making a compound butter: For every 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, use ½ teaspoon zest, ½ to 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, and ¼ teaspoon salt. If you want a little sweetness, add 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. From there, you can ramp things up with more zest, a bit of dried spice, or even mashed roasted garlic or softened shallots.

Mix everything while the butter is soft (microwave for a few seconds if necessary), but once mixed, chill before serving. Feel free to muliply the recipe as needed. 

Yields 2 1/2 tablespoons

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon grated citrus zest (lemon, lime, or orange)
  • Fresh herbs, chopped (1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped parsley, mint, cilantro, chervil, tarragon or basil; 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme; or ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary.
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried spice, such as curry powder, chile powder (including chipotle), cumin, coriander or smoked paprika


1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate.