Butter Board…But Better (Gluten-Free)
If you’ve dined in my home, you’ve been offered radishes with a little butter and flaky salt as a snack. It’s delicious, nutritious, and simple to set out – win, win, and win in my book (and here on this blog).
If I’m hosting a party, I like to up the ante a bit and bake a crispy gluten-free flatbread, spread it thinly with butter, and layer it with sliced radishes, fresh herbs, chopped pistachios, and salt. Broken into crispy, buttery shards, it’s always a hit (and particularly delicious with champagne or a light kombucha – something sparkling to counter the richness of the butter).
So when the butter board trend hit Instagram/TikTok, I was unsurprisingly…on board! (That pun was on purpose, for those of you know my accidental punning ways.) If you’ve missed the trend, it’s basically soft butter spread generously on a board (or platter), seasoned with salt and herbs, and surrounded by crackers and crudités. The goal is a fast and pretty appetizer.
It’s fair to say that I am a huge fan of great – salty! – butter (Kerrygold, Roros, and cultured French versions are my faves) but a little goes a long way health-wise (and calorie-wise), so if I’m serving butter as an outright spread, I love to combine it with canned tuna or smoked salmon, as well as a bit of onion, olives or capers, and plenty of fresh herbs.
The end result is seriously divine – big, big flavor – and less rich and more nutritious than just butter alone. Below I’ve included recipes for both tuna butter and smoked salmon butter.
The tuna butter is particularly memorable with hard-cooked eggs, olives, and plenty of chives.
The salmon butter shines with dill, pickled red onions, and capers (I recently taught a smørrebrød class where the group assembled open-faced sandwiches made with this combo and they were a hit).
My apologies for not getting these recipes to you before Thanksgiving but there is plenty of holiday celebrating ahead of us over the next few weeks! Whether you’re hosting (or attending) a cocktail party or dinner party, either or both of these spreads/boards will shine, I promise.
I recently made both, spread them on the same platter, surrounded them with an assortment of gluten-free crackers, and took them to a party. The group loved both. It’s fun to try them side-by-side and decide which is your favorite!
For Thanksgiving, I fried small triangles of gluten-free bread in olive oil (drained on paper towels) to make crunchy crouton-toasts, spread them with tuna butter, topped each triangle with thinly sliced radish and salt and pepper, and set them out as a snack while I cooked and chatted away. Marvelous. (If you do this, and you should, make the triangles small/bite-sized since the bites are rich.)
Alright, I’ll stop there, that should give you several serving ideas! (Before you ask, I have not tested with vegan butter because I know I would not like the result. Vegan butter can be a great dairy-free sub when baking, but in this case, the deliciousness of the end product relies too much on the taste of high-quality, dairy-full butter.)
SMOKED SALMON BUTTER
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Note: pickled red onions, in addition to the capers, taste GREAT as a garnish.
8 ounces smoked salmon
8 tablespoons room-temp Kerrygold salted butter (perhaps a bit more for creamiest texture)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons minced scallion (green & white parts) or 1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 cup fresh dill fronds (more for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
2 tablespoons drained capers (for garnish)
Combine all ingredients except capers in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. If needed, add a bit more butter so texture is very smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using. To serve, spread on platter and top with capers and fresh dill.
Makes about 1 cup
Note: a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh dill tastes amazing here too; I omitted because I included it in the smoked salmon butter, above, and if you plan to serve both of the butters on the same platter, that would make them too similar. If you’re making just tuna butter, feel free to include it.
5-ounce can tuna (I like tuna packed in olive oil but water-packed works well too), drained
5 tablespoons room-temperature Kerrygold salted butter (perhaps a bit more for creamiest texture)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Spanish green olives
1 tablespoon minced chives (more for garnish)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of chile flakes
Several grinds of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
Combine all ingredients process until smooth. If needed, add a bit more butter so texture is very smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using. To serve, spread on platter and top with chives.