I know, I know, garlic butter doesn’t really need anything to make it better — with garlic and butter, what more could you want? — but I can use up to four ingredients in these recipes, so I began to think about what else I could throw into the mix. Herbs? Which ones? Decisions, decisions . . . Puréed roasted red pepper? Maybe next time. I’m not sure I’m ready for pink butter. If I put in cheese, is it really still butter, or something else? What about the cheese that’s sprinkled on food like salt — Parmesan?
With that it all came together. Parmesan cheese and a tiny bit of black pepper would be perfect. And it was. I had a little of this butter on a toasted bagel and it was sublime, but it would also be great on pasta, in chicken Kiev, or of course in garlic bread.
The garlic in this really needs to be roasted. Fortunately, that’s easy, and I was baking something this afternoon anyway. Ideally it’ll be at the stage where it’s still firm enough to mince, but soft enough to blend into the butter. The more subtle flavor that it picks up while roasting also goes well with the tang of the cheese and the touch of spice from the pepper.
While we’re on the subject, here’s something that didn’t fit into my article on the basics of garlic: If it turns blue or green, that’s caused by a chemical reaction, not mould, and it’s harmless. However, if your garlic has turned green from being out in the sunlight, it may have also turned bitter. You can read about this at Penn State Extension.
The inner core of a garlic clove is naturally green, and some people find that if you take that out, the garlic’s not so bad to eat raw. I’ve never tried it, though.
Though garlic should be kept cool, it’s not recommended for freezing, says this information from Clemson University — that turns it strong and bitter.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 clove roasted garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Dash of black pepper
- Let the butter come to room temperature.
- Cream it in a small bowl.
- Mince the clove of garlic (it should still be firm enough to cut).
- Scatter the garlic over the butter.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan over.
- Add the pepper (I just held the pepper mill over the mixture and turned once).
- Mix just enough to combine.