Makes ½ cup. Refrigerate for 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.
Savory and lemony with a whisper of sweetness, this butter makes a fine finishing touch for vegetables, fish, or chicken.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
1 tablespoon sweet vermouth, such as Cocchi
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 preserved lemon quarters
Zest from half a fresh lemon
Rinse the lemon quarters under cold, running water for a minute or two, then pat them dry.
Scrape the pulp off both quarters, then scrape them again to remove any lingering pith. Finely mince the skins. Discard the pulp of one of the lemon quarters; remove the membrane and seeds from the pulp of the other, then chop/mash it to a purée.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add the shallots and sautée until they soften, 1–2 minutes. Add the vermouth and lemon pulp to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the vermouth has evaporated, 1–2 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the cardamom and pepper. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Add the remaining butter, shallot mixture, and lemon zest to a small mixing bowl. Beat together until no lumps of plain butter remain. Scoop the butter into a ramekin, cover tightly, and refrigerate for several hours before using.