Avocado butter is usually a type of compound butter, but may also be a type of spread similar in texture to butter. Both varieties use fresh, ripe avocados for flavoring. This butter is often paired with chicken or fish. The food product avocado butter should not be confused with the beauty ingredient of the same name, which is found in many hair and skin care products.
Ripe avocados are an essential ingredient to this butter. They are normally peeled, pitted, and mashed before use, but may also be sliced in half and the meat scooped out of the skin. This fruit gives the finished butter a taste similar to guacamole. Lemon juice, salt, and pepper are also common ingredients across recipes.
In the compound butter versions, unsalted butter is a key ingredient. Garlic or garlic salt is also generally included. Leafy herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, and ground spices, like cumin, are often added as well. Spicier versions may add white pepper and hot sauce. Occasionally, Worcestershire sauce may be included.
Versions that omit the butter are simply spreads with buttery textures and not technically butter at all. These versions rely on the avocado pulp to provide the correct texture. Seasonings such as chives, tarragon, and capers may be found in these types of spreads.
Both the spread and compound butter are made in basically the same way: the ingredients are beaten until smooth. A food processor or hand-held mixer is normally used. In butter versions, the butter is usually first beaten until creamy and then the other ingredients are included. Sometimes the avocado is not included until everything else has been mixed together, and sometimes the fruit is added at the first step and beaten in with the butter. Still other versions will combine all the ingredients at once.
When the avocado butter has been thoroughly blended, it should have a creamy consistency. It can be eaten immediately, but normally it is shaped and then chilled for two hours to two days. While chilling, it should be wrapped in plastic wrap to protect it from the air. Avocado butter may begin to discolor if left exposed to air for too long.
Once the butter has sufficiently chilled, it can be sliced and used to flavor meats or vegetables. Grilled fish or chicken match particularly well with this butter. It may also be used to compliment corn-on-the-cob, or it can even be slathered on bagels.