We love buttery recipes. Everything from a freshly baked brioche to Eggs Benedict smothered in Hollandaise sauce will find a place on our table and in our hearts. However, there is one butter-based dish we simply cannot rally behind: the latest social media darling, the butter board.
We can see the appeal of butter boards, in theory. Artfully arranged with edible flowers, warm spices, fresh citrus zest, and of course, gobs of good European butter, a butter board can be a show-stopping appetizer. Plus, assembling a butter board is less expensive and requires less know-how than a charcuterie board or a cheese board.
But if, like us, you’d prefer not to share a pound of butter, smeared onto a cutting board, with your nearest and dearest (or with a notorious double dipper), we have some ideas.
Start by making your own compound butter. Simply mix softened butter with various spices and seasonings. Just like vanilla, there are rules for buying butter. Good butter has a butterfat content of at least 82%, so it is softer and more spreadable. Good butter is made from the milk of grass-fed cows, so it has a rich yellow hue and more flavor.
Once you’ve softened the butter, add mix-ins of your choosing. Keep it simple with lemon zest, fresh ground pepper, red pepper flakes, and flaky salt, like the original butter board. Get fall festive with pumpkin pie spice, honey, pepitas, and flaky salt. Go Italian with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chiffonade-cut fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan, balsamic vinegar, and of course, flaky salt.
Then roll it into a cylinder using parchment paper, cover it with plastic wrap and chill. Slice individual servings from either end of the cylinder. Or you can try one of these other ways of preparing and serving your butter with style.
Shapes: We carry a variety of ice trays and molds that work for butter too. Fill silicone molds with room temperature compound butter, and chill until the butter is firm. Unmold your butter and serve it family-style on a tray with sliced bread, or offer individual servings of butter to each guest on formal bread and butter plates.
Patterns: Use an antique butter mold or a cookie stamp to imprint a decorative pattern on individual butter pats. Unroll your chilled compound butter from the plastic wrap, evenly slice individual pats of butter, and press each one with a cookie stamp, like you would with cookie dough. You can even use the decorative bottom of a drinking glass or an embossed rolling pin. This technique works best while the butter is still chilled.
Individual butter boards: If you absolutely must serve your butter in keeping with the latest trend, we ask that you serve it individually. Prepare a small board, bowl or plate for each guest with a serving or two of softened butter. The Fiesta Fruit & Salsa Bowls are the perfect size. Fill additional bowls with spices and seasonings, add little spoons, and invite your guests to create their own compound butter creations.
Whether you try one of our butter board alternatives, or you embrace the original butter board, we'd love to see your creations!