Odessa Piper, Chef-Proprietor
L'Étoile Restaurant * Madison, Wisconsin

One of the most talented chefs in the US, Odessa Piper is famous for marrying fine cuisine with the honest fruits of the land. She employs compound butters in L'Étoile's menu every season. She loves the last minute spike of flavor, color and texture they add to perfectly cooked vegetables. To contact L'Étoile for reservations, call (608) 251-0500. (We also make our own version of her Compound Butter that we freeze and use for cooking: we incorporate freshly minced garlic into the butter with a selection of fresh herbs.)

Basic Compound Butter

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, pulped with a rasp
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

    Place butter in mixer and beat to fluffy. Incorporate shallot and seasonings completely. Gently fold in herbs, diced vegetables or flower petals last. Turn butter out into the middle of a 10" piece of waxed paper. Fold paper over butter. Use a ruler to cinch butter into a cylinder roll approximately 2" in diameter. Roll up with the excess paper and refrigerate until firm. Slice 1/4" thick, temper slightly and serve on top of soups, roasted or mashed vegetables. Wrap extra butter very thoroughly, store in freezer and slice as needed.
    For seasonal variations, make the base recipe and then add the additional ingredients.

    Wild Sorrel and Clover Butter

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest
  • 2 tablespoons mixed chives, sorrel and chervil
  • 2 tablespoons edible flowers: lilac, pansy or clover blossoms

    Nasturtium and Caper Butter

  • 1 tablespoon tender tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons nasturtium petals
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers

    Cranberry Hickory Nut Butter

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup toasted hickory nuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves

    Winter Black Truffle Butter

  • 2 tablespoons truffle peelings
  • 1 teaspoon black truffle oil
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped
  • Italian parsley

  • Recipe Seeds: Chervil, Chives, Edible, Garlic, Herbs, Nasturtiums, Parsley, Shallots, Sorrel

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