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Anchovy-Garlic Compound Butter Is the Ultimate Umami Bomb

Enter savory heaven with this pantry-friendly finisher.
By Published Apr. 7, 2022

Butter is delicious on its own—cook with it or baste a sautéed dish with it. But compound butters are a separate class of flavor enhancer. And they couldn’t be easier to make.

As we’ve said before, everything is better with a compound butter. A generous scoop just before serving can replace the bright flavors that may be lost during cooking, and the melting butter turns into a luxurious sauce over the finished dish. Simply add any aromatics, spices, even cheese to softened butter and mix until well-combined. The sky is the limit with the mix-ins, too—tailor them to whatever you’re cooking or (even better) use up some odds and ends you may have kicking around your fridge. 

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Speaking of odds and ends, if you’ve opened a tin of anchovies recently chances are you didn’t finish the whole thing. (You only ever need a few for a recipe, anyway.) This is your sign to turn this powerhouse ingredient into a compound butter. More specifically, Anchovy-Garlic Butter with Lemon and Parsley. The unique salty tang of the anchovies paired with garlic and brightened with fresh herbs and lemon juice makes it a versatile and delicious complement. 

As for what to serve it on? You can combine just about anything with this compound butter for a savory boost to your next dish. Melt it over Grilled Steak Tips, Broccoli, and Red Onion; add it to one-pot dishes like Cod Baked in Foil with Leeks and Carrots; or spoon it directly into a pan of asparagus. Or, treat it like regular whipped butter and spread it on a baguette (bonus points if it’s a homemade baguette). A little goes a long way, but if you like anchovies as much as we do, give it a try.

Ready to make it? Here's our recipe.

Anchovy-Garlic Butter with Lemon and Parsley

  1. Whip butter with fork until light and fluffy. 
  2. Mix in ¼ cup minced fresh parsley, 2 minced and rinsed anchovy fillets, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest to blend flavors, about 10 minutes, or roll into a log and refrigerate. (Compound butter can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic, for up to 2 months.)