The latest cuisine trend to sweep over the internet is butter boards. Butter is spread out on a board and then sprinkled with things like sea salt flakes, fresh herbs, nuts, dried fruit, honey, and other simple condiments. But you can take your butter boards to the next level by getting creative with your toppings and ingredients.
In this piece, we’ll go beyond the standard toppings for a butter board and discuss some creative alternatives. These inventive mixtures will lend a gourmet touch to your butter boards, whether you opt for savory components like roasted garlic and lemon zest or sweet additions like edible flowers and chocolate.
Savory Butter Board Toppings
If you want to make your butter board a bit more savory and sophisticated, consider these options:
Roasted Garlic – When roasted garlic cloves are crushed with butter, they impart a sweet, nutty, and aromatic flavor. Use the butter to make a quick and easy garlic bread appetizer by spreading it on crusty bread.
Lemon or Lime Zest – Citrus zest brightens up butter boards with a burst of taste and aroma. If you’re looking for unique citrus options, try a Meyer lemon or a Key lime zest.
Capers & Anchovies – These briny, salty flavors balance out the butter well. Add mashed anchovy fillets or capers to the butter.
Olives – Butter boards with chopped olives add a salty, briny bite. Kalamata and Castelvetrano are complementary.
Sundried Tomatoes – Sun-dried tomatoes in oil, which have been chopped, offer a great, concentrated umami kick.
Pesto – To add immediate flavor, stir your favorite pesto into butter. Basil, artichoke, or roasted red pepper pesto all work well.
Whipped Feta – Feta cheese is being whipped with olive oil to make a spreadable consistency. Plonk on bread and butter plates.
Herbs – Do not restrict yourself to merely using these three herbs. Try different combinations of herbs in your butter, such as tarragon, chervil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, and sage.
Spices – Replace the flaky sea salt with more robust spices. Test out some curry powder, ras el hanout, za’atar, sumac, dry spice rubs, or curry powder.
Chili Crisp or Chili Oil – Butter boards benefit from the crunch and heat of this Asian condiment. Add some to the butter and mix it around.
Miso Butter – Mixing white or red miso paste with melted butter creates a flavor explosion that’s heavy on the umami.
Compound Butters – Compound butters can be made at home by combining unsalted butter with other ingredients such as roasted garlic, herbs, citrus zest, etc. Then, smear the board with globs.
Blue Cheese – Use a strong blue cheese like Maytag, Roquefort, or Gorgonzola to flavor the butter. Sprinkle some crumbled blue cheese on top.
Sweet Butter Board Toppings
If you have a sweet tooth, try these butter board topping ideas:
Honey – Use artisanal honey varieties like wildflower, orange blossom, chestnut, buckwheat, etc. The options are endless.
Jam or Preserves – Swirl your favorite jams like raspberry, strawberry, peach, or blackberry into the butter.
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread – A classic like Nutella is right at home on a butter board, providing chocolate and nutty flavors.
Tahini or Almond Butter – For nuttiness, swirl in tahini (sesame seed paste) or almond butter.
Dulce de Leche – This caramelized sweetened milk adds a luscious richness and sweetness to butter boards.
Cinnamon Sugar – Sprinkle aromatic cinnamon sugar over the butter and watch it melt in.
Edible Flowers – Not just a pretty garnish, edible flowers like roses, lavender, pansies, snapdragons, etc. provide sweet, perfumed flavor.
Berries – Fresh berries like raspberries, blueberries and strawberry slices are delicious on butter boards.
Figs – Pair rich, syrupy figs with butter’s creamy indulgence. Other fruits like stone fruit and pomegranate arils also work nicely.
Maple Syrup – Drizzle pure maple syrup over your butter board or stir it into the butter for sweetness.
Coconut – Toasted coconut flakes or coconut butter provide tropical flavors.
Cacao Nibs – These crunchy, bittersweet nibs offer rich chocolate flavor without the sweetness.
Creative Combinations and Recipes
Now that we’ve discussed a wide range of options for adorning a butter board, let’s have a look at some novel pairings and dishes:
Italian Herb Butter Board – Mix chopped fresh basil, oregano, thyme and parsley into softened butter. Top with sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, parmesan and olive oil. Serve with crusty bread.
Lemon Blueberry Butter Board – Incorporate lemon zest into butter. Top with fresh blueberries, pistachios, flaky salt and drizzled honey.
Spicy Miso Butter Board – Blend miso paste into butter. Top with sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, chili oil and chili crisp. Serve with rice crackers or grilled fish.
Chai Spice Butter Board – Whisk cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and other chai spices into butter. Garnish with sliced almonds and honey. Spread on naan or muffins.
Chipotle Lime Butter – Cream together chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, lime zest, cilantro and butter. Top with cotija cheese, pepitas and cilantro.
Brown Butter Caramelized Onion Board – Melt butter over medium heat until browned and nutty. Mix in caramelized onions. Top with fried sage leaves and parmesan crisps.
Lavender Honey Butter Board – Steep dried lavender buds in melted butter, then strain out herbs. Stir in honey while warm. Top with edible flowers and blackberries.
Chocolate Cherry Butter Board – Mash cherry jam into butter. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top and garnish with dried cherries and toasted coconut.
Maple Cinnamon Apple Butter Board – Softened butter gets swirled with maple syrup and cinnamon. Top with apple slices, walnuts and sea salt.
Customizing and upgrading standard butter boards can be done in an unlimited number of ways. Enjoy the freedom to experiment with sweet, savory, and even bizarre tastes.
Add vibrant garnishes and creative designs to increase the dish’s visual appeal. Make an impressive butter board for your next get-together.