Think of a butter board like a cheese board, but instead of Manchego and prosciutto, you’re slathering it with a butter base and layering it with seasonings and garnishes. This viral trend has taken over social media, and we figured—given that butter is squarely in the Southern wheelhouse—it’s about time a Southern chef weighs in. “Honestly my first reaction was: that seems unnecessary. I even texted one of my chef friends about it being silly,” says Nathan Hood, the culinary director for Basic Projects, which encompasses Sullivan’s Fish Camp, Post House, and Basic Kitchen in and around Charleston, South Carolina. “But after I started thinking about it more, I realized it could be appetizing if you added in toppings that made it more of a meal. At the end of the day, I’ll always take the opportunity to eat something with butter as the star of the show.”
Hood’s issue with a lot of the boards he’s seen is that they’re just covered in edible flowers, which are beautiful but don’t provide much in terms of flavor and texture. So, in creating his own epic take, he worked to incorporate acid, heat, and texture so each bite would be balanced. The result is an oyster-infused butter base topped with steak, blue crab, trout roe, Old Bay, arugula, and marigolds. Extravagant? Perhaps. But totally worth it. Try Hood’s recipe for the oyster butter base. We’ll leave the toppings up to you.