How to make your own butter board Joshua McFadden wrote about butter boards in his 2017 cookbook, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables. The concept has taken over TikTok, and he has ideas for how you can up your butter board game.

Use these tips to have fun with the latest food trend — butter boards

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It's the latest food trend to go viral on TikTok.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Let's make a butter board.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: OK, you guys know I had to jump on the butter board train.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: This butter board can be topped with your favorite toppings, whatever you choose.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: You are going to want to hop on this trend. They are going to be a staple for the holidays.

THOMPSON: That's right - butter boards. The basic idea is this. You take butter and artfully spread it on a board. Then you put your favorite toppings on it and serve it with fresh bread. The trend comes from a cookbook called "Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables." It's by Joshua McFadden, and he's been making butter boards for years.

JOSHUA MCFADDEN: The first one was probably when I was living in Maine, and I was working on a farm. And it was a really fun way to kind of bring a limited amount of fresh crab. And it was, like, this butter board that had crab and preserved lemon and these seaweeds and all this stuff and then, like, this brown butter, as well, on top of the butter.

THOMPSON: The idea came about as a way to show off what the season has to offer.

MCFADDEN: Herbs are sprouting, and vegetables are sprouting. And there's just all these little offshoots or edible flowers or just different, you know, leaves to a plant that - it's about the plant, but the leaf also has flavor. It was just a really elegant way to kind of really showcase yet again, like, a seasonal moment. And we had this amazing cultured butter that we would serve and fresh bread, and it was just one more way to kind of add value to that.

THOMPSON: If you want to create your own showstopping butter board, it's pretty simple. McFadden says start with just three ingredients you want to put on top. Then it's all about the final touches.

MCFADDEN: And then texture and acidity, salt, herbs - kind of, like, working through all those components. So really, the sky is endless. Like, the whole thing about butter boards is it's not a recipe. It's just kind of, like, a technique and an idea, so there's really no wrong way.

THOMPSON: McFadden told us he's had fun watching butter boards go viral. His favorite video so far?

MCFADDEN: Well, I like the ketchup one because I think it's so ridiculous because she was a comedian or something. And it's just taking a jab, which I think is the time we live in.

THOMPSON: Joking aside, McFadden says the butter board trend is all about bringing together people through food.

MCFADDEN: The time that we're living in right now is such a weird time. It's just amazing that people are, again, starting to share food. And that's what it's all about. So anything that does that, I'm all about.

THOMPSON: He says, don't overthink it. And above all else, be flexible.

MCFADDEN: It has always been a goal to teach people how to cook as opposed to tell people how to cook. It's not really about having a recipe that you know how to do, and that defines you of how to cook. It's learning how to cook so you can make things and not be intimidated by them. So it's less about following recipes sometimes and more about just being comfortable with how to adapt to a season or an ingredient or both.

THOMPSON: That was Joshua McFadden, author of the cookbook "Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables." And for other recipes you can make in a pinch, like Molly Yeh's Juicy Lucy cheeseburger, Mark Bittman's spinach carbonara or Danny Bowien's pineapple kimchi, check out our website. Just go to and type in In A Pinch.


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