Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Balsamic Butter

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Balsamic Butter

I was introduced to this Roasted Red Pepper-Balsamic Butter a few years ago when my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at a 5-star restaurant. It was my first time eating at a 5-star restaurant. Don’t pity me for having to wait for 30 years of marriage to have this experience (a 1st world problem, no?). I am perfectly happy eating at places where I can use the words “doggie bag” for my leftovers. So unencumbered.

Random thought: How does “doggie bag” translate into verbiage appropriate for a 5-star restaurant? If I say “doggie bag” in a refined British accent, is that okay? Or, would I have to make my question more upper class–“Excuse me, may I trouble you for one of your canine dining repositories–preferably the Prada design?”

Or is it just too low class to ask to take home one’s partially eaten meal from a classy restaurant?

Bah. Whatever. Moving on.

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Balsamic Butter

Everything at the restaurant was absolutely wonderful. The meal began, as do many restaurant meals, with some bread and butter. As you may expect, however, the butter was not just ordinary butter. It was a compound butter, whose flavor profile was a tad out of my experience. The more I ate it, the more of it I wanted.

In a desperate desire to reverse engineer the recipe, I resorted to behaving like one of the Clampets in Beverly Hills. Taking a little travel-size bottle of Tylenol, I emptied its contents into the bottom of my purse and discretely, but hurriedly, stuffed some of the unnamed butter into the empty bottle. John kept watch, alerting me to the presence of any approaching servers as I did the deed.

Yes, it was totally low-class in every way, but I just had to have more of that butter and asking for a doggie bag was not an option. I am so ashamed.

Not really.

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Balsamic Butter

To really cement my newly acquired low-class social standing and in an overwhelming need to figure out the recipe, I actually asked our server what was in “this incredibly delicious butter”. She smiled at me condescendingly, looked over her shoulder towards the kitchen and hesitated. Looking back down at me, she stated that it was one of the chef’s special recipes, and then she smiled broadly, “But I am allowed to make the butter now.”

I congratulated her. She glowed. And then I pressed her one more time for the ingredients. Cautiously she quickly listed off the ingredients, being careful to avoid revealing too much information.

Thanks, Sweetie, that’s all I needed to know. πŸ˜‰

As we walked out of the front door, I was already formulating a recipe and a name–Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Balsamic Butter…or Balsamic Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Butter…or Compound Butter with Roasted Red Peppers, Roasted Garlic, and Balsamic Vinegar…or 5-Star Compound Butter…

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Balsamic Butter

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 1 cup

The flavor of this compound butter is complex--lightly sweet, with the various richly flavored elements hitting the tongue at different times.


  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (see instructions below for roasting garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons minced roasted red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process together until well blended, stopping processor to scrape sides as needed.
  2. Put in an airtight container and refrigerate at least two hours to chill and allow flavors to blend. May be stored, refrigerated, up to 4 days. See "Notes" for alternative butter-log option.
  3. Serve with crusty bread, or over vegetables, chicken or fish.
  4. To Roast Garlic:
  5. This method will work for 1 or more whole bulbs of garlic. Preheat oven to 400-degrrees F. Remove any loose papery skin from the outermost area of the garlic bulb, leaving the garlic bulb covered with the tight, close-fitting skin. With a sharp knife, slice off the upper 1/4 of the garlic bulb to expose the top of each clove. In a baking dish or pan of choice, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Place the garlic bulb(s) in the pan and drizzle well with olive oil. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in oven for about 30 minutes until garlic cloves are soft. Test by piercing the garlic cloves with a fork tine, tip of sharp knife, or a toothpick.
  6. Allow to cool before handling. Remove the individual cloves and squeeze out the creamy roasted garlic. Use immediately or store for up to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator. The garlic may also be frozen, tightly covered, for several months.
  7. Alternate butter-log option:
  8. Place a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper (about 12-18 inches long) on counter-top. Put butter in the center of the wrap. With a spatula shape the butter into a rough "log" lengthwise on the wrap. Working from the long side of the wrap, roll the wrap tightly around the butter, shaping the log smoothly and evenly. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap tightly against the butter.


Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Balsamic Butter

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  1. says

    You are too cute. Recipe sounds great and I will give it a try. Thanks Terri. I never get to those facy restaurants so I’ll pretend with your recipe.

  2. Cordelia Roberts says

    Love your blog!
    A question about your latest entry (compound butter): Are the roasted red peppers used in the recipe the hot, spicy (long, pointy) ones or are they just like the mild green bell peppers only red? Can you buy them already roasted in a jar or should you roast them yourself. I have an glass-top electric stove…..would I broil them in the oven or would I saute them in a frying pan?

    • says

      Hi Cordelia and thank you! I used roasted red peppers in a jar. Most grocery stores stock them in the same place as they stock pickles. They are a mild pepper like red bell peppers. For convenience I keep a jar of them on hand in the refrigerator. They are great to use in soups, salad dressing, sauces, and on pizza.

      Of course, you could roast your own red peppers, too. Here is a link to Tori Avey’s blog, The Shiksa in the Kitchen. In the blog post she gives 4 ways to roast peppers. It’s really very easy to do, but as a time saver I generally use the ones from a jar, especially when using a small amount. If I were to make a red pepper sauce, as for pasta, it would be worth my time and effort to roast my own peppers. ~Terri

      • Cordelia Roberts says

        Terri, Thank you for your reply. I will try the butter this weekend. Since I am gluten free do you have any suggestions for accompanyments for the delicious spread? Do you have any recipes for good gluten-free breads? BTW, where in SA did you live? We were in Taif in the early 80’s……schoolteachers. Ma’a Salama!

        • says

          Yay, a kindred ex-pat! We lived in Ras Tanura, right on the coast of the Arabian sea. Gosh I loved my time there. Young and free and full of adventure. My sister, her husband and their youngest daughter have been living in Dharhan for the past few years. My brother in-law is an engineer working for ARAMCO. He and my sister met as teenagers when both of our families were living in SA back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It’s a fun love story for them.

          The spread would taste good on any gluten-free breads or crackers. It also goes very well as a topping on cooked vegetables such green beans, carrots or peas. It pairs well with chicken or a milder fish such as halibut and can also be used as a decadent topping on steak.

          I don’t have any gluten-free breads on the site. However, here are links to a few recipes that I have thought about trying: Jillee’s Gluten-Free Bread @ One Good Thing by Jillee, Gluten-Free Hawaiian Rolls and Gluten-Free English Muffin Bread @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Soft Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread @ A Little Insanity, and King Arthur’s High-Rising Gluten-free Sandwich Bread.

          I hope that some of the links work for you. There are SO MANY gluten-free blogs and a recipes now as compared to just a couple of years ago and home bakers have figured out the tricks of making successful breads without gluten. ~Terri

  3. Dalila G. says

    OMGosh!! You are too much Terri!!
    LOVE your story about “borrowing” the butter…..pill bottle?! GENIUS!!
    I have only been to a fancy restaurant once, never again….sorry, just not my thing.
    I hardly venture out with hubby for dinners anyway, so no biggie for me.
    We do lunches now and again, but I will have to say I do ask for a “doggie-bag” if I have enough leftover food on my plate. The way I look at it is that I am paying for my food, so my food goes home with me. But, no worries, I have lots of friends who would never dream of asking for one at any restaurant. Three star place or five star place, no doggie-bag for them.
    This sounds sooo wonderful, thank you for sharing it! πŸ˜€
    By the way, great name for your butter….pinned!

    • says

      Thanks for the pin, Dalila! I almost always ask for a doggie bag, too. Actually, they are pretty much standard at the restaurants around here and the servers automatically ask how many we want. Also, it seems that restaurant portions have gotten so ridiculously large that there is no way I can finish a meal in one sitting. ~Terri

  4. says

    I would slather this butter on my arm and eat it… it’s that good!! I have only made a few compound butters before… I need to try to make this kind of beautiful butter soon. πŸ™‚

  5. Paul says

    I made this and it is super good! The best of many garlic butters I have made. Our local Sam’s club has 16 oz bottles of roasted peppers for $5 and Wow, 18 oz bottles of capers for SALE at $1.80 !! So on my second recipe batch I added 3 Tbls of rough chopped (drained) capers. Took it to a new level

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