An Autumn Butter Board with Honey, Fresh Thyme, and Toasted Almonds

Early last month my talented assistant, Emily Bell, sent me a link to a New York Times story about the popularity of butter boards. The Times noted that one food writer, Justine Doiron, had had over 8.4 million views on her TikTok video that featured how to assemble a butter board. She spread softened butter on a wooden board, then sprinkled salt and lemon zest over it. Next, she added edible flowers, red onion, and a drizzle of honey along with slices of warm bread for spreading.

Within minutes my mind was teeming with ideas for butter boards, and so was Emily’s. She sent me suggestions for several while I made a list of my own. I finally decided on a recipe that I think would be perfect for serving during the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays. I seasoned softened butter with honey and cayenne, spread it in a circle on a slab of slate (marble works too), and topped it with minced fresh thyme (from my herb garden) and coarsely chopped toasted almonds. To counter the sweetness of the honey, at serving time, I drizzled some balsamic glaze over the butter.

Along with small slices of artisan bread, I arranged mounds of dried apricots and McIntosh  apple wedges around the seasoned butter. I knew my “board” was a success when several young workers who were washing windows at our home while I was testing the recipe asked if they could take a sample, and then returned for seconds and for thirds! They agreed with me that everything tastes better with butter!”




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Autumn Butter Board with Honey, Fresh Thyme, and Toasted Almonds

8 tablespoons good quality unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup whole almonds, skin on, toasted and coarsely chopped
Generous 1/4 teaspoon sea salt such as fleur de sel
Balsamic glaze for drizzling (See market note.)

Good quality dark artisan loaf, warmed in oven and sliced, or a crusty baguette warmed in the oven and sliced
1 cup or more dried apricots
One medium tart apple such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, stemmed, cored, and cut into 1/4 -inch thick wedges

1.Place the softened butter, honey, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl and use a table fork to blend well. Taste and add a pinch more of cayenne if you'd like some extra heat.

2.Spread the butter in a circle on a wooden board or slate or marble slab. Sprinkle the thyme over the butter. Combine the chopped nuts and sea salt in a small bowl and then sprinkle nuts over the butter.

3 Arrange mounds of apricots, apples, and warm bread around the butter.Then drizzle butter with some balsamic glaze. Serve butter board with napkins and with a knife for each person.

Serves 4 to 5.

Market note: Balsamic glaze is available in many groceries in the section with vinegar and oils.It is made with balsamic vinegar that is reduced along with a sweetner such as brown sugar.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2022

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