Butter sauce is a classic staple in many kitchens, adding richness and flavor to a variety of dishes. However, sometimes it’s nice to switch things up and add a tangy twist to this classic sauce. Enter lemon butter sauce, a delicious and versatile sauce that can elevate any dish.
The Benefits of Adding Lemon to Butter Sauce
Lemon is a versatile fruit that can add a bright and tangy flavor to any dish. When added to butter sauce, it can help cut through the richness of the butter and add a refreshing twist. Additionally, lemon is a great source of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping to prevent cell damage and providing other important benefits like improved iron absorption. Adding lemon juice or lemon zest provides a burst of this important vitamin, which cannot be made in the body and must obtained from food. Vitamin C also helps support the health of skin, bones, and cartilage.
Aside from vitamin C, lemons also contain compounds like citric acid, limonoids, and phenolics that may help prevents diseases. Some research shows that lemons may help lower high blood pressure, reduce inflammation in the body, improve cholesterol levels, and aid digestion.
While the research is not conclusive, adding lemons to your diet is a simple way to boost nutrition and may provide further health benefits. Lemon butter sauce is one delicious way to incorporate more lemon into your cooking.
Lemon zest adds lemon oils and bright yellow color to lemon butter sauce. The zest contains lemon bioflavonoids, including the antioxidant limonene which gives zest its citrus scent. Health-promoting terpenes in lemon zest are more bioavailable than in juice alone. Lemon zest provides most of the aromatic lemon oils used in cooking and baking. However, consuming only the zest without the juice will lack nutritional benefits found in lemon juice like vitamin C.
Ingredients and Preparation
To make lemon butter sauce, you will need the following ingredients:
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter: Using unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Salted butter will add extra sodium that cannot be taken out.
– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a bright, tangy kick and vitamin C. Use fresh juice for the most flavor. Bottled juice can be substituted in a pinch.
– 1 tablespoon lemon zest: Lemon zest adds aromatic lemon oils, color and bioflavonoids. Use a zester or fine grater to remove only the yellow outer layer of skin.
– 1/4 teaspoon salt: Salt helps enhance the flavors in the sauce. You can add more or less depending on your taste preferences.
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper: Black pepper adds a spicy flavor. Adjust amount based on your desired spiciness.
To prepare the sauce, start by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well combined and the sauce is heated through.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place butter in saucepan and heat until melted and bubbly, about 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper. Pour lemon juice into melted butter. Add zest, salt and pepper.
3. Whisk the ingredients together until they are well combined. Vigorously whisk by hand or use an immersion blender to combine ingredients.
4. Heat the sauce through. Allow sauce to simmer over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until heated through. Do not boil.
5. Remove from heat and serve or chill before serving. The sauce can be used immediately or cooled and refrigerated for up to 1 week. Reheat chilled sauce over low before serving.
Serving Suggestions and Pairings for Lemon Butter Sauce
Lemon butter sauce is a versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes. It pairs well with seafood, chicken, and vegetables. Here are a few serving suggestions and pairings for lemon butter sauce:
– Drizzle it over grilled shrimp or scallops. The bright acidity cuts through the brininess of seafood.
– Serve it with roasted chicken or turkey. Lemon enhances the flavor of poultry. Brush sauce over chicken or turkey during the last 10-15 minutes of roasting or serve on the side.
– Toss it with steamed or roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or broccoli. The tangy lemon butter sauce livens up simple veggies.
– Use it as a dipping sauce for artichokes or crab legs. The butter sauce is perfect for coating the leaves and flesh of artichokes or crab.
– Toss with pasta such as linguine or angel hair. Lemon butter sauce coats long strands of pasta. Toss with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for a complete meal.
– Spread on cooked rice or grains. Lemon butter sauce imparts lots of flavor when stirred into rice, farro or quinoa.
– Use as a sauce for fish fillets or crab cakes. Spoon lemon butter sauce over seafood to keep it moist and add lots of flavor.
– Spread on toasted bread. Lemon butter sauce can be used as a topping for crusty bread. Broil bread under high heat to lightly toast then top with the sauce.
– Glaze carrots or asparagus. Toss cooked carrots or asparagus in lemon butter sauce to coat and heat through.
– Sear scallops then deglaze the pan with lemon butter sauce. Sear scallops in a hot pan then remove and make lemon butter sauce in the same pan using the browned bits stuck to the bottom (fond).
– Use to make lemon butter vinaigrette. Whisk about equal parts lemon butter sauce and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Use to dress salads.
Elevate Your Dishes with Lemon Butter Sauce
Lemon butter sauce is a delicious and easy way to add a tangy twist to classic butter sauce. It’s versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from seafood to vegetables. Plus, it’s packed with vitamin C and other beneficial plant compounds, which can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health.
So next time you’re looking to switch things up in the kitchen, give lemon butter sauce a try and elevate your dishes to the next level. This bright and creamy sauce will become a staple in your kitchen, simplifying weeknight dinners but also impressing guests at your next dinner party. Lemon butter sauce adds a special touch to celebrate any occasion.