Toast’s Higher Calling


Why settle for “mere” toast when greatness waits to join you at the next stop?  After the toaster pops, for a little more time than it would take to butter the bread, a preparation beckons that’s creamy, tangy, spicy, savory and a little sweet too.  Yes, it’s all that – every application that would supplement toast in conventional usage, all together on one slice of bread.  And then some.

This is “Everything” Toast, though with considerably more character, both texturally and in flavor, than its bagel cousin possesses.  It’s what recommended the idea when Fine Cooking included the recipe for Avocado Toast with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Cayenne and Olive Oil in its August/September 2019 issue.  Indeed, the toast god approves from his shrine:Toast Sculpture

Naturally.  So much more that plain old avocado toast, which is good, by the way, but is nothing more than the fruit slathered on bread.  Instead, for today’s effort. it’s sliced thinly and is shingled.  The improvements only begin there, as vibrant, juicy tomatoes join the party, adding dimension as well as sweet bursts of flavor.

There’s more.  Basil is ribboned, and it contributes a leafy freshness.  Finally, a dose of olive oil is drizzled over the creation, and it’s seasoned with coarse sea salt and a dusting of cayenne pepper, thus unifying the medley with a zing.

It’s the one toast you eat with a knife and fork.  By hand if you’ve the dexterity (or if nobody’s watching), but in most cases, cutlery will do nicely.  The silverware is only one sign that this is toast of a higher caliber.

There’s the range of textures, often in a single bite, crunch layered with silky smoothness, giving way to a chewy juiciness, and finally back to crunch again with the salt.  The taste is equally varied, a taste adventure described above.  Then there are the colors, which captivate the eye while the mouth still waters.  This is what toast always dreamed it could be, and with the toast god’s blessing, so it has become.

*****

Avocado Toast with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Cayenne and Olive Oil

  • 2 Hass avocados (*1)
  • 4 slices multigrain bread, toasted
  • 1-and-1/4 cups cherry tomatoes, preferably multicolor, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • flaky sea salt, to taste

Slice each avocado in half lengthwise, then peel, pit and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.  Divide the slices evenly among the four slices of toast, pressing down lightly.  Top with the tomatoes, again, pressing down lightly.

Sprinkle the cayenne evenly over the tomatoes.  Divide the basil among the toasts, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Slice each toast diagonally and serve.

NOTES:

1 – Hass avocados really are best for this purpose, and for most else too.  No slight intended to other varieties, but my former state does produce the best avocados, so a definite Hass shout-out there.

15 thoughts on “Toast’s Higher Calling

    1. I appreciate your kind comments greatly, Crystal!

      The awesome thing about this recipe is its accessibility year-round. Sure, in the off season, the avocado may require an extra day on the windowsill, but the grape tomatoes are colorful and delicious, no matter what Father Frost has to say on the subject.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keith, I changed the color of the fonts on my blog. When you get a chance, can you open up a post and tell me if the words are too hard to see? I changed them to different color because I was getting a notification that my fonts were previously in a hard-to-read color. So I changed it this morning. Please let me know. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sure, Tamara. Everything looks good.

        My test would be particularly rigorous too, being run, as it is, by eyes exhausted already from staring at an office monitor for about nine hours. Thus, if your livery makes it here, it can make it anywhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Avocado Toast has become one of my favorites for lunchtime. Hadn’t thought of adding Cayenne. Sounds like a great idea though. Sometimes I will add a fried egg though and call it breakfast. Other times I will experiment with different seasonings and add-ons… sautéed mushrooms is a great one. 🥑🍄

    Some foods are just especially heavenly and avocados is one of those. And that former state you lived in was…? Did I miss that at some point? I forget things a lot. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are some really good ideas, JoAnn. Sautéed mushrooms are particularly inspired. But then, I would say that about mushrooms, wouldn’t I?

      Other possibilities include arugula or, when they’re in season, shaved asparagus or fresh corn. Then there’s…

      Oh, as for my former home. Maybe I didn’t mention living in L.A. for a couple years when I was a kid, but I just did now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I figured it must be CA due to the avocado reference.

        All sounds delicious, especially the asparagus. So much great food and so few stomachs! This is one of the rare times to be envious of cows.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Maybe, though cows ruminate in utter ignorance that the grasses they chew will become Plugra or Kerrygold.

        Instead, perhaps we’d seek to envy those undercover critics who judge if fine restaurants are worthy that coveted Michelin star. Or, much rarer yet, that third star.

        Like

    1. Many thanks, Jenn!

      Wow, I was getting a bruschetta vibe too! Which is a cool place to be, although…although…the avocado takes it into all new territory. Definitely, it stirs comfortable familiarities, but you also get the thrill of finding yourself in a place you never have been before.

      Liked by 1 person

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