Butter Me Up! A Simple Holiday Appetizer

Let’s be honest.

The holidays are no time to diet. Temptation is lurking everywhere. So at the outset of this post, I say give yourself permission to indulge!

I love butter. For me, it falls in the ‘comfort food’ category. Butter makes crusts flakey, and gives baked goods a richness and texture that is unmatched by substitutes. As a topping, it elevates mashed potatoes and warm bread to heavenly heights.

Creamy, soft, and lusciously silky on the tongue, have you ever secretly wanted to just eat it raw? Well, dear readers, I have discovered butter nirvana.

Good quality butter, preferably made from the milk of grass-fed dairy cows or goats, is much more than a condiment in this decadent but simple appetizer. It’s the unabashed star.

This recipe for Flower and Herb Butter comes from the cookbook, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, by chef/restauranteurs Josh McFadden and Martha Holmberg. They’ve used butter as a palette for a mixture of herbs and edible flowers (experiment with what’s in season), served on toasted baguette slices or crackers. I enjoyed it recently at a dinner soiree hosted by friends, and knew I had to share it with you.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but it will become an instant favorite in your Entertaining recipe repertoire.

FLOWER and HERB BUTTER Appetizer (serves 6)

*original recipe from Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables cookbook.

Printable recipe here: Flower and Herb Butter


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) best quality unsalted butter (room temperature) *Cow or goat’s milk butter are both delicious!
  • a mixture of chopped fresh herbs (including milder favors like thyme, dill and Italian parsley, as well as stronger flavored tarragon, sage, and/or oregano).
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • edible flower petals (anise hyssop, marigold, pansies, calendula, nasturtium, and borage are all good choices)
  • good quality flake sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • cracked coriander seeds, red chili flakes, and poppy seeds (optional)
  • sliced baguette (fresh or toasted) or a selection of artisan crackers


  1. Use an offset spatula to smear softened butter 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness across a platter (marble, slate or wood look gorgeous).
  2. Scatter generously with chopped herbs, then green onion, and flower petals. Finish lightly with a few pinches of fine sea salt flakes and fresh cracked pepper.
  3. If you like, add a little cracked coriander seed, chili flakes and poppy seeds (optional but lovely).

Serve with baguette slices or artisan crackers and watch it disappear!


Categories: Appetizers, Cheese/Dairy, Holiday RecipesTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. How different – certain to generate conversation at your party.Looks yummy and you are right, who can resist butter.

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