Three Compound Butters for Seafood (and veggies too!). 

Citrus Butter. Garlic and Herb Butter. Old Bay Butter. All three of these simple compound butters elevate any fish or shellfish dish into something a little bit fancier, more luxurious and more flavorful.

Fish and shellfish often need little more than lemon, garlic, salt and pepper to taste their best. Most of the time, simple is the way to go, and sauces and lots of spices aren’t necessary. But, butter, with seafood, is usually a good idea. And butter with hints of citrus, herbs and garlic is always a good idea. A little bit of this butter goes a long way and adds a ton of flavor.

Compound butter may sound fancy, but it’s not. You take a stick of softened butter (we microwaved it for 15 seconds), then stir in the citrus/spices/herbs, roll in parchment, then refrigerate.

sticks of butter, herbs, lemons and limes and old bay getting prepped to make compound butter

My little helper squeezed the lemon and lime juice, added Old Bay seasoning, and stirred in the herbs and garlic.

Lucca helping make compound butter

Good thing Lexi wasn’t helping. Her favorite “food” is butter, so, if she had her way, she’d run off with these sticks.

citrus compound butter on parchment paper

These compound butters should last in the fridge for a week, but, if your house is like our house, they’ll be gone in a couple days.

3 compound butters wrapped in parchment paper

All three of these butters add a luxurious touch to any simple seafood dish. But, don’t stop there. Use them on any grilled or steamed veggies to make them irresistable. And … you must try the garlic and herb butter on toasted artisan bread (any kind).

These butters are a fun way for your guests to customize their own seafood dishes as well. You can prepare the fish/shellfish seasoned very simply, then offer all three of these butters as an option for adding more flavor and seasoning to your guests liking.

An overhead shot of three different sliced compound butters on a wooden cutting board

Here are a few ideas to get you started on using these butters to transform your seafood dishes:

  • Add a pat to grilled swordfish, tuna or halibut steaks
  • Add a pat to grilled cod or haddock filets (we grill white fish on a piece of foil to prevent the fish from falling through the grill grates)
  • Add to any baked fish after removing from the oven
  • Add a pat to the last 30 seconds of pan searing scallops (go with garlic and herb here)
  • Dab onto grilled or sauteed shrimp (especially the Old Bay butter!)
  • Serve melted and drizzled overtop mussels or clams (try the garlic and herb)

On veggies:

  • Serve with corn-on-the-cob (all three butters work well with corn)
  • Dab onto steamed/grilled/roasted broccoli
  • Stir into cauliflower rice
  • Add a pat to roasted or baked potatoes

Here are a few recent pictures of how we’ve used the butters.

On toasted baguette slices:

A photo of toasted bread with garlic and herb butter on a white plate

Rubbed on grilled corn:

a grilled corn on the cob rubbed with garlic herb butter on a white plate

Placed atop grilled white fish.

 a dinner plate with grilled corn, salad, bread and haddock

Here’s how we made each of these butters. Tweak them to your taste as you like.

GARLIC & HERB BUTTER:

An image of garlic and herb butter on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: mix all ingredients together until well combined. Place on a piece of parchment paper in a log shape. Roll up parchment (as you would a burrito), securing the ends by twisting parchment together. Refrigerate until ready to serve/use.

CITRUS BUTTER:

An image of citrus butter on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  • zest of 1 organic lime plus juice of 1/2 the lime
  • zest of 1 organic lemon plus juice of 1/2 the lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: mix all ingredients together until well combined. Place on a piece of parchment paper in a log shape. Roll up parchment (as you would a burrito), securing the ends by twisting parchment together. Refrigerate until ready to serve/use.

*If you prefer less of a citrus kick and want a more subtle flavor, use less lemon and lime juice, or even omit and just use the zest.

OLD BAY BUTTER:

A close-up shot of old bay butter on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Directions: mix all ingredients together until well combined. Place on a piece of parchment paper in a log shape. Roll up parchment (as you would a burrito), securing the ends by twisting parchment together. Refrigerate until ready to serve/use.

 

PIN these butters for later:

Three Compound Butters on a wooden cutting board for Seafood PIN