Garlic butter is a combination of butter and garlic that has become widely popular in many different cuisines around the world. It’s used to add flavor and depth to dishes and is especially tasty when melted over grilled meats or vegetables. Let's explore what makes garlic butter so delicious.
What is Garlic Butter?
Garlic butter is simply a combination of butter and garlic. It usually starts with softened butter, which is then mixed with minced garlic, herbs and spices, and sometimes other ingredients such as parmesan cheese. This mixture can then be used as a spread on bread or rolls, as a topping for vegetables or meat dishes, or even stirred into pasta for an extra garlicky kick. The possibilities are endless!
The Origins of Garlic Butter
The garlic butter was first mentioned in documents dating back to the 14th century. It was commonly found in French cuisine and remained popular throughout Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. Of course, at this time garlic butter was more of a seasoning than an actual condiment—it was usually used to flavor meats and vegetables before they were cooked.
The popularity of garlic butter really took off in the 18th century when it began being used as an accompaniment for bread, buns, and other bakery items. In fact, garlic bread is said to have originated in France during this time period. By the early 19th century, garlic butter had made its way into American cookbooks—a testament to just how beloved it had become all over the world.
Garlic Butter Ingredients
Garlic butter is an amazing condiment and essential to many dishes. Whether you're baking it into a loaf of garlic bread, slathering it onto a steak, or using it as a dip for your favorite seafood dish, the combination of garlic, butter, and herbs is sure to delight. Here’s a breakdown of the essential ingredients you'll need to make this delicious condiment.
- Garlic Cloves: The star ingredient in any garlic butter recipe is the garlic itself. Freshly minced or finely chopped cloves are the ticket here; if you’re short on time, you can also use pre-minced garlic from the store. Make sure that whatever type of garlic you use is as fresh as possible for maximum flavor.
- Unsalted Butter: Unsalted butter serves as the base for your garlic butter sauce. Since salted butter contains preservatives and additives, opt for an unsalted variety whenever possible—this will allow you to adjust the saltiness of your dish according to taste.
- Parsley: Finely chopped fresh parsley adds freshness and color to your garlic butter sauce. It can be used either fresh or dried; just make sure it’s finely chopped before adding it to your mixture.
- Oregano: Oregano adds an earthy, herbaceous flavor that helps round out the other flavors in your sauce. You can use either dry oregano (which has a more intense flavor) or fresh oregano (which has a more subtle flavor).
- Salt: Salt enhances all of the flavors in your sauce and helps bring them together into one cohesive flavor profile; start with just a pinch at first and adjust according to taste until you get it just right!
Garlic Butter Uses
There’s so much more to compound butter than using it on bread - let me take you through a few of my favorite uses. I want to share with you 7 ways to make the most of garlic butter and get creative with your cooking!
- Bread: I love making my own garlic bread at home with some freshly made focaccia bread, melted butter mixed with lots of fresh minced garlic and herbs, and plenty of cheese on top. After baking in the oven for 15 minutes, it’s an absolute delight - perfect for sharing (or not).
- Steak: Rubbing a mixture of melted garlic butter and spices onto the steak before grilling or broiling ensures that every bite is juicy and full of flavor. It also helps caramelize the outside of the steak for added color and texture.
- Seafood: Add a dollop of garlic butter to pan-fried shrimp or scallops just before they finish cooking—the garlic butter will melt into whatever sauce you’re using and create an irresistible combination of flavors.
- Pasta: Toss cooked pasta in a mixture of melted garlic butter, herbs (like oregano or basil), salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese for a tasty side dish or main course. You can also add vegetables like mushrooms or onions for extra flavor.
- Noodles: Use melted garlic butter as a base when stir-frying noodles instead of oil. Not only does this make the noodles taste great but it also keeps them from sticking together.
- Pizza Crusts: This one might seem strange at first but trust me - after trying pizza crusts brushed with delicious garlic butter you won't ever go back. Just brush melted garlic butter onto the pizza dough before baking for an added depth of flavor that takes the homemade pizza from good to great. The combination of melted butter, fresh minced garlic, and herbs gives the crust an unbelievable flavor that will have everyone coming back for more slices!
- Mashed Potatoes: Last but certainly not least, mashed potatoes are the perfect vehicle for garlic butter. Simply add some melted garlic butter to your mashed potatoes before mashing and you’ll have a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with almost any main course.
Is Garlic Butter Good For You?
Garlic is known for its health benefits; it’s filled with antioxidants that help boost the immune system and protect against certain diseases. But did you know that adding garlic to your diet can also help reduce cholesterol levels? Studies have shown that consuming 1 clove of garlic (3-6 g per/day) regularly can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by up to 10%.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
Garlic butter typically lasts for up to three weeks in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to six months. To maximize shelf life, store garlic butter in an air-tight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Additionally, adding a small amount of salt to the mixture can help preserve it.
Yes, you can freeze garlic butter. To do so, place it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, you can scoop tablespoon-sized portions onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or resealable bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Wrap up: Garlic Butter Spread
- Garlic butter is an incredibly versatile condiment with a long history and many modern applications.
- It's made simply by combining softened butter, minced garlic, herbs, spices, and sometimes other ingredients such as parmesan cheese.
- Whether you’re using it as a spread on bread or rolls, topping for vegetables or meat dishes, or stirring it into pasta – the possibilities are endless!
- With its delicious flavor profile created from just four key ingredients - garlic cloves, unsalted butter (or margarine), parsley & oregano plus salt to taste - you can easily whip up this amazing concoction at home in no time. So why not give this delightful condiment a try today? You won't regret it!
How To Make Garlic Butter
- 100 g Unsalted Butter
- 4 cloves Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Dry Parsley
- ¼ teaspoon Wild Oregano
- Salt to taste
- Remove the butter from the fridge a couple of hours before you need it and leave it on the counter to soften.
- Peel and roughly chop the garlic. The chopping doesn't need to be precise as the garlic will be blended with the butter.
- In an upside-down blender jar, add the butter and the roughly chopped garlic and blend for 20-30 seconds.
- As the butter may ashere to the sides of the jar, using a spoon, scoop the mixture and blend again. This process may need to be repeated 2-3 times.
- Once the garlic is thoroughly blended in the butter and hardly any pieces can be seen, add the parsley, oregano, and salt.
- Give the mixture another blend for 10-15 seconds.
- Next, scoop the fluffy garlic butter in an airtight container, and give a quick mix with the spoon if necessary.
- The butter can now be used as needed on bread, steaks, mashed potatoes, roasted or steamed vegetables, and many more dishes!
- Room temperature: Depending on the season or location, the butter may need more or less than two hours to soften, so adjust the time you place it on the counter out of the fridge accordingly.
- Salted butter: can be used instead of unsalted, but in that case, the additional salt needs to be skipped. Using unsalted butter gives the chance to control the level of saltiness.
- Oregano: in this recipe is an extra ingredient that sets this recipe apart from the rest! To prepare a sharing loaf in the oven, follow this method for the best results: Slice the bread loaf into slices; on the work surface, lay down a sheet of foil. Starting with one end of the bread, apply butter on the last slice, then pick the slice next to it and on the face that goes against the butter, apply a couple of drops of olive oil, while on the opposite one, garlic butter. Continue this way until you reconstruct the whole loaf and each buttery side meets an olive oil side, then wrap in the foil and bake for about 7-10 minutes (depending on the oven) at 340* F [170*C Fan Oven].
- Fresh Parsley: Fresh parsley [and origano] can be used, however, they will turn the butter green when blending, while the dry leaves won't.
- In the fridge: This homemade garlic butter can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks or until the expiry date of the butter, whichever is shorter.
- In the freezer: Fluffy garlic butter can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container or well sealed freezer bags.