If you’ve ever used a compound butter, a mixture of fresh herbs and softened butter, you know that it adds inimitable flavor and moisture as it melts on beef, chicken, fish and veggies.
This citrus and cheese butter is just as versatile and brightens up just about anything it touches. Initially, I only smeared it on hot grilled or toasted bread. Subsequently, I have come up with other ways to use this handy new condiment. I have tossed a pat or two into a pan of vegetables, topped off a steak with a slice (and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar) and added a chunk to cooked and drained pappardelle pasta, which created an instant sauce. The cheese pairs nicely with the citrus and since it’s not too salty, it doesn’t overpower the fruit notes of the lemon, lime and orange. My latest and perhaps favorite creation is citrus butter toast with fried egg and asparagus. I’m certain there are many more uses for this fragrant butter!
Bianco Sardo is an aged sheep’s milk cheese from the island of Sardinia (The second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily). This recipe calls for the traditional Sardinian cheese, which is aged a minimum of 6 months and is rich, buttery, and sharp without being too salty. Similar in texture are two other hard Italian cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano that are more readily available and are good substitutions.
- 8 Tablespoons butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 2 cups Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana, finely grated
- 1 Tablespoon, finely grated lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon, finely grated lime zest
- 1 teaspoon, finely grated orange zest
- Using an electric hand-mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy, then add the cheese and beat until combined. Add the citrus zest and mix well.
- Form the flavored butter into one or two logs and wrap with parchment paper. Twist the ends and secure. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Keeps one week in the frig or 1 month in the freezer. I usually divide the butter into 2 logs so I can use one now and stash the other in the freezer for later. Allow the citrus and cheese butter to come to room temperature before using.