Lemon-Sage Brown Butter

At Daniel Patterson’s Bay Area house, René Redzepi used wild sage leaves in this tangy butter. He originally made the butter to serve with veal—it would also be good with white-fleshed fish—but it is surprisingly delicious with cornmeal pancakes.


Slideshow:More Recipes Featuring Lemon


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: make 1/2 cup


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemon (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, cook the butter with the salt over moderately low heat until nutty brown, about 5 minutes. Scrape the butter into a bowl and chill in a bowl of ice water, stirring frequently, just until it begins to harden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the ice water and gently beat with a wooden spoon until the butter is slightly pale and creamy. Fold in the chopped lemon, sage and lemon zest.

Make Ahead

The butter can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 5 days.


To make the chopped lemon, cut the skin and bitter white pith from a lemon. Cut between the membranes to release the sections, then chop.

Published January 2012

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