Move over, cheese boards. There's a new foodie obsession doing the rounds, and this one involves artfully smeared room-temperature butter. The butter sits atop a parchment-paper-covered wooden board, a marble or slate platter, or focaccia. Yep, bread and butter have officially gone to private school, and now they're hosting post-pandemic dining situations full of communal fervor.
Butter boards with crackers make simple but stunning centerpieces for entertaining, and they're more affordable and arguably prettier than a meat-laden charcuterie board. You just need to lay out butter knives to prevent double-dipping, and test your cholesterol levels at some point in the near future. The enduring popularity of grazing tables suggests this trend could have legs, so get spreading, folks!
Garlic butter on a baguette is a barbecue staple for some. You can bring some of that bbq goodness to your butter board. Instead of freshly grated garlic, you're going to wrap a few heads of garlic in olive oil and foil, roast it for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F, and add it to good-quality butter after it cools.
Spread this mixture on your board, and sprinkle it with chives, red pepper flakes, and salt. Simple and delicious.
You can opt to go entirely savory or completely sweet with your butter board, but we like a nice, generous angle that caters to everyone's taste. You can go half and half, literally. Or do swirls of sweetness and saltiness like Chef Josh McFadden does for his farm-to-table gatherings.
Vegans can have loads of fun with this food trend too. Grab your vegan spread of choice, whether that be cashew butter or another plant-based option, or opt for whipped tofu or roasted butternut squash. These make fabulous smears, and you can top the butternut with infused oil, rosemary, chili flakes, toasted nuts, seeds, and seasoning.
This butternut variety would make a great addition to a Halloween or Thanksgiving feast.
You can make a yummy Caesar-style butter board with just a few ingredients. You'll need a tin's worth of chopped anchovies which you'll mix with a couple of cloves of grated garlic, freshly grated parmesan (or shave with a potato peeler), lemon zest, and herbs. You can opt for dry or fresh basil, parsley, oregano, or thyme, but apply the fresh herb sparingly.
Once you've stroked on the butter and dotted your protein about, add crisp homemade croutons (ok, fried bread bits), a microgreen garnish, squeeze half a lemon over, and season with Maldon sea salt and pepper.
Fall butter boards are some of the best! We've already touched on using butternut squash, but you can also bust out your pumpkin spice, apple pie filling, pretzels, stroopwafels, dates, pistachios, and other autumnal toppings.
Springtime is perfect for a butter board with dazzling edible flowers and red onion just like the one TikTok recipe developer Justine Doiron created—it was so gorgeous it spawned thousands of iterations.
Whip up a pound of salted butter for the most festive take on the butter board, a holiday wreath. Dot with flavors and colors associated with Christmas, such as pomegranate arils, cranberry compote, marmalade, and your favorite herbs and nuts. Arrange sliced and grilled sourdough in a ring around the spread. A Christmas tree or another holiday shape can look just as eye-catching.
This could be your new end-of-year tradition and an appetizer that sneaks into other special occasions too.
You can go the South Asian route with a butter board full of flavors from the Subcontinent, such as coriander and chili. Make a balanced mango chutney to impart a ton of tangy flavor and serve this board with naan. Or head further east with savory miso butter and rice cakes.
Cinnamon and sweetness is a classic, warming combo. Drizzle honey or maple syrup over spread salted butter and add sliced or smashed macadamias, walnuts, or pecans, as well as craisins and honeycomb chunks. Sprinkle the spice as a final flourish.
You could add quartered figs too, and replace the butter with cream cheese. Always make sure you're balancing your flavors.
Fans of peanut butter can indulge in this variation of the butter board. You'll need smooth peanut butter, pieces of peanut brittle, chopped chocolate, crushed peanuts, Granny Smith apple slices, a light sprinkle of salt, and banana chips. There's texture, sweetness, saltiness, and a general sense of satisfaction once you pop this snack in your mouth.
If you're more of a frosting kind of person, it's a buttercream board you're after. This sweet take is a cake lover's dream. Make some sheet cake, slice it into fingers, and place them along the periphery of your platter.
Drizzle ganache on the buttercream, crush cookies over, or add strawberries for a fabulous deconstructed dessert—the perfect way to end a meal or enhance a high tea table.