Brunch, Lunch, Snacks

Toast.

May 17, 2017

If someone asked me what form I’d like my food in for the rest of my life, I would probably say “on bread”. To me, it’s a perfect vehicle for grubbing down and I’ve spent the vast majority of my life preaching that food eaten by hand just tastes better; food is and always has been as much a tactile experience for me as it is a flavor, scent and sight experience. I also believe that the best things take the least amount of time to prepare (see: salads, radishes with butter and salt, burgers, and sando’s in general). That is why in the spring and summer nary a day goes by that I don’t have fresh bread, something to shmear, something to plunk and something to sprinkle on hand. Being able to throw a meal together quickly that is essentially already mise’d out, that has a warm and toasty component with other hearty and light components hits all of the notes I’m looking for at any point in my day. Having to pull out a small pan to do it makes me feel a skosh less lazy about the way I myself eat vs. the way I cook for others (my strangest dichotomy yet one pervasive to this industry – eat as we cook, not as we eat).

With spring in full swing (I found some gorgeous ramps the other day and damned if I didn’t give them a special corner in my basket where no brutish onions or jagged clamshells could fuck with their pristine virginity), I am diving hands-first into playing with its delicate, newborn ingredients.

But let’s talk about avocados for a sec. because I know that’s where alllllll of our heads went when I mentioned toast. Do as I did and tell the basic bitch inside of you to brace herself, clutch her pearls, bite the rim of her frappucino, throw on her best athleisure for the impending prostration of a tantrum: avocados have gone bad. Not “two-days too long on the counter” bad, but environmentally and ethically bad. We saw this coming. What food didn’t get it’s own meme’s that didn’t just as swfitly become the enemy? The avocado industry is causing mass deforestation, chemical runoff polluting depleted streams due to their 74-gallon-per-pound habit, and is putting money into the hands of drug cartels, all so that we can smear something on our toast that’s cute on Instagram. I know this is a hard blow, but I’m here to soften it as best I can, which is actually arguably more delicious than the reason you’re upset in the first place. YOU’RE WELCOME REALLY IT’S JUST MY JOB.

So, I set out to creating a series of toasts that are delicious, easily prepped ahead of time, and don’t make us feel ethically bankrupt. Truthfully that journey has lead me somewhere much more delicious and beautiful than some mashed green clay that’s gonna brown in 5 minutes lest I sully the purity of it’s flavor with a bunch of citrus. Throw any of these together for a quick weekday breakfast, a cozy weekend brunch, lunch to bring to work, or a light dinner, and feel as good about what you’re eating in your heart-parts as you do in your tum-space.

Toast

Prep

Cook

Total

Ingredients

Smashed pea and fava, buratta, mint, maldon, microgreens, olive oil

For the smashed peas and fava

1c peas

1c fava

1 clove garlic

4T olive oil + more to finish

cracked pepper

1.5T lemon juice

1.5t salt

For the topping + Bread

1 burrata ball

5 stems of mint

1/2c microgreens

Maldon to finish

4 thick slices of fresh white bread (maybe not sourdough)

2T olive oil for brushing

 Smashed pea, pesto, radish, ricotta, microgreens

For the smashed peas

1.5c peas

2T olive oil

Cracked pepper

1t salt

1t lemon juice

For the topping + Bread

3 radishes, shaved on a mandolin or sliced as thinly as possible

1/4 c pesto

3/4c ricotta at room temperature

1/4c microgreens

4 thick slices of fresh white bread (maybe not sourdough)

2T olive oil for brushing

Creme fraiche, salmon, cucumber, red onion

For the topping + bread:

1 4oz package smoked salmon

1 8oz tub of creme fraiche

1-2 Persian or pickling cucumbers, sliced thin on a mandolin

1 small red onion, small dice

4 thick sliced of crusty bread

2T olive oil for brushing

Ramps and white beans, soft boiled egg

For the ramps and white beans:

2-3 ramps, sliced thin

1 15oz cannellini beans

3T olive oil, 1 for the ramps and beans, 2 for brushing the bread

1/2t chili flake

1/2t lemon juice

8 eggs, soft boiled

For the bread:

4 slices crusty bread

Salt and Pepper

Instructions

Smashed pea and fava with buratta, mint & maldon

  1. If the fava beans are not removed from their husk, peel the husk off and add them, along with the peas, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. 
  2. Process the mixture to desired consistency while drizzling in the olive oil; I like it to be about 2/3 smooth, 1/3 rough and chunky. 
  3. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and preheat a pan, grill pan or grill to medium. Once it is hot, add the bread and sautee or grill until it is the desired toasty-ness. Once it comes off of the grill I like to rub it with a split clove of garlic, but you can also just sprinkly it with a bit of salt or leave it plain. 
  4. To assemble, smear the pea and fava smash onto the bread, plunk a few torn pieces of buratta, a few torn bits of mint, a drizzle of olive oil (I like Frankie's for this because it's so peppery), and a sprinkle of Maldon. 

 Smashed pea, pesto, radish, ricotta & microgreens

  1. Add the peas, salt, pepper and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and process to desired consistency while drizzling in the olive oil. 
  2. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and preheat a pan, grill pan or grill to medium. Once it is hot, add the bread and sautee or grill until it is the desired toasty-ness. Once it comes off of the grill I like to rub it with a split clove of garlic, but you can also just sprinkle it with a bit of salt or leave it plain. 
  3. Smear the smashed peas on the bread, dot the top with ricotta and pesto, scatter radishes and microgreens on top. 

Creme fraiche, smoked salmon, cucumber & red onion

  1. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and preheat a pan, grill pan or grill to medium. Once it is hot, add the bread and sautee or grill until it is the desired toasty-ness. 
  2. Spread a layer of creme fraiche on the toast, layering ribbons of smoked salmon on top. Scatter cucumber slices and red onion on top, and if you're making other toasts at this time too, the zest of a lemon you're using in another recipe would finish this off perfectly.

Ramps and white beans & soft boiled egg

  1. Gently rinse the beans under running water and allow to drain a bit, put a pot of water on to boil and set up a bowl of ice water nearby.
  2. Sautee the ramps over medium low heat in 1T of olive oil until they're soft and fragrant. Add the beans, chili flake, salt and pepper and toss together until warmed through but not browning.
  3. Remove from the  heat and finish with lemon juice. 
  4. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes and then add them to the bowl of ice water; this step stops the eggs from cooking further once removed from the boil, so you don't end up with a totally lame hard boiled egg when we ALL KNOW that a runny egg yolk is the lords best gift to us. 
  5. Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and preheat a pan, grill pan or grill to medium. Once it is hot, add the bread and sautee or grill until it is the desired toasty-ness. Once it comes off of the grill I like to rub it with a split clove of garlic, but you can also just sprinkly it with a bit of salt or leave it plain. 
  6. Plunk a healthy spoonful of the ramps and beans on top of the toast and slice an egg on top, finishing with a bit of salt and pepper. For major presentation points, slice the egg open a bit to let the yolk ooze out. 

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