Beurre blanc, French for “white butter,” is among those famous sauces that rely on a lot of excellent butter. Yet beurre blanc can be very fickle during prep. My Tarragon & Chive Butter Sauce for vegetable side dishes tastes a lot like classic beurre blanc, but is much easier to make — and very forgiving. And like beurre blanc, this sauce takes advantage of butter’s inherent emulsification qualities for its silky, incomparable flavor that not only complements and enhances taste, but provides a smooth and creamy texture that is especially important in sauces.
As you plan your holiday menus, consider this full-bodied sauce for everything from roasted carrots and parsnips to winter squashes and green beans … and anything that butter makes better.
Tarragon & Chive Butter Sauce
Yield: about 1½ cups
7 T. butter, divided
2 T. finely minced onion
2 T. flour
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
½ t. lemon juice
1 T. minced chive
2 T. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/8 t. white pepper
1. In a saucepan, sauté the onion in 1 T. of butter over moderate heat until the onion is soft and translucent.
2. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add the broth and, stirring constantly with a whisk, bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the sauce reduces by about half and thickens.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in 2 T. of butter. Once the butter has melted, add 2 more tablespoons of butter. Repeat with the remaining 2 T. When the last amount of butter has dissolved into the sauce, remove the pan from heat.
5. Whisk in the lemon juice, chive, tarragon and white pepper. Serve warm over vegetables, poultry or seafood.
-Chef Carl Fazio