Montpelier Butter

In "New American Classics," Tower wrote that this classic compound butter "transforms hot cauliflower" and that "on top of mashed potatoes it is so good that it should be arrested." Here he says he hasn't changed his mind and further recommends it with hot grilled fish or steaks and, at room temperature, with cold poached salmon. With typical passion, he adds that when it is spooned between slices of leftover roast pork or veal "with the slices reassembled, left for a day, and then eaten at cool room temperature, it creates a lifelong memory."

6 leaves spinach
Leaves from 1/2 bunch watercress (1 1/2 cups of leaves)
2 tablespoons fresh flat parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chervil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
2 shallots, chopped
2 cornichons, rinsed and chopped
4 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons capers
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 hard-cooked egg yolks
2 large raw egg yolks
1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. Blanch the spinach, watercress, herbs and shallots in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, refresh under cold water and squeeze dry. Place the mixture in a food processor. Add the cornichons, anchovies, capers, garlic, cayenne and salt and pepper. Process to a smooth paste. Add the egg yolks, cooked and raw, and the butter and process again until thoroughly mixed.

2. If the butter is still a little chunky (the sauce should be glossy and smooth as velvet), transfer the mixture to a blender and beat in the oil in a thin steady stream while the blender is running. If the mixture is perfectly smooth in the food processor, transfer the butter to a bowl and whisk in the oil by hand. Beat in the vinegar and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

Recipe adapted from ''Jeremiah Tower Cooks''