Avocado Toast: Make It This Weekend
October 13, 2017
Avocado toast reminds me of a bagel and cream cheese: a schmear, plain or flavored, on bread. Toppings can be added at will: tomato, onion, cucumber, and eggs work for both dishes. While chocolate or cinnamon-raisin aren’t appropriate as flavorings here; you can go for unembellished or souped-up, and everything in between. Spreading a bagel with cream cheese is something we do at home often, but avocado toast seems exotic: fare reserved for trendy downtown restaurants with big lines at brunch not for your home kitchen. And of course, for Instagram.
I’ll admit that for avocado toast you make the spread yourself, but mashing a perfectly-ripe avocado with some flavorings and spreading it on grainy bread, doesn’t feel too complicated or time-consuming. This is food that you make when you don’t want to cook. When you want a visually-appealing, satisfying and above-all, delicious plate ready in minutes. The work here is in collecting your ingredients, in finding the perfect grainy, chewy bread to set off the creamy avocado.
May I make the following suggestions:
Find a bread that you like, and buy it for the specific purpose of turning it into avocado toast.
Or keep it in the freezer, ready to pop into the toaster and press into action when the mood strikes.
For me: the grainier the better, and the crust must be quite chewy, providing some heft to balance the creamy lightness of the avocado.
Don’t skimp here: super-market bread just won’t do. Visit your local bakeries and do some taste-testing.
Locally, Balducci’s stocks a Whole Grain Batard that works quite well.
I prefer pebbly-skin Hass avocados.
Use perfectly-ripe avocadoes for this dish.
According to the Avocado Board, ripeness is determined by consistency, and to a lesser degree, by color.
Place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising. A ripe avocado should yield to gentle yet firm pressure.
Be careful: Avocadoes referred to as breaking are almost ripe. They have a softer-feel but do not quite yield to firm gentle pressure and won't spread easily with the ideal light and creamy texture required here. Leave them on the counter for a day or two and they will be perfect.
Firm, green-skinned avocadoes should sit longer. Usually, 4-5 days, before they are ready.
Finally, avocadoes can become overripe. If they have a mushy or dented skin, feel very soft, and/or have browning inside, best not to use them.
Speed up the ripening by placing the fruit in a paper bag with an apple or a banana.
Buy the avocado according to your timetable. I usually buy a range of avocadoes at different stages of ripeness when I shop so I will always have a good one on hand.
In my version, below, I call for cherry or grape tomatoes.
They are always sweet, attractive, and available all year.
Please do not refrigerate the tomatoes as the texture will change.
Wash a few, and use; leave the rest behind for another day.
Store tomatoes at room temperature on your counter; they will stay fresh for 3-4 days.
Make It A Meal:
Avocado Toast is perfect on its own, but is also a natural partner for eggs.
Pair with eggs scrambled with cream cheese and topped with snipped fresh herbs for a colorful and protein-packed plate.
Hard-cooked, fried, or poached eggs also work well.
Green salad is optional.
Lemony Avocado Toast
This recipe can be easily doubled.
2-3 pieces of whole grain bread, depending upon the size of the slices
1 whole avocado
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest.
Pepper flakes and sea salt to taste
8-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Micro or baby greens, optional
Toast the bread until golden brown and lightly-crisped.
In a glass or ceramic bowl, mash the avocado with lemon juice and zest. Divide the mixture between the toast slices. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper flakes, if using. Top each slice with 6-8 tomato halves, and greens, if using. Serve immediately.
Serves 2-3 people.