Serving butter at the holiday table is often an afterthought. I don't always put butter on my bread, so the moment when I remember it is when my butter-loving father-in-law comes to dinner and peers expectantly around the table, quietly looking for the butter dish. But for this Thanksgiving dinner I'm sharing with you this week, I wanted to do something a little more special and delicious. It takes approximately five seconds, and everyone raved.
This is a tip I picked up from a local restaurant called Sage (now sadly defunct). They served warm rolls with a generous pat of cultured butter, sliced thin so it softened quickly on the plate.
The brilliance, however, of this butter service was the stripe of smoked salt sprinkled across the butter. So with each swipe of the knife you got a little sweet, tangy butter, and a bite of crunchy smoked salt. On a dinner roll or piece of crusty bread? Heaven. I could eat this all by itself.
I did this for the Thanksgiving dinner, slicing a roll of cultured butter from Vermont Creamery into thin rounds and laying them out on small soapstone trays. I sprinkled a woodsy smoked salt over top, and tada — the rolls had a worthy partner.
It took just a few seconds at the last minute (although of course you could set these up in the fridge the night before) and of all things on the table, I think my guests loved this butter the best.
- Soapstone Trays from Aesthetic Columbus
- Smoked salt from Whole Foods Market (also find it at cheesemongers, specialty food shops, and spice stores)