Winter Avocado Toast
I grew up in California and this was a regular food for us, and fairly inexpensive during avocado season. Nowadays avocado time is pretty much anytime, thanks to trade agreements and the fact that avocados can be shipped easily, so here's my winter take on something that used to be a spring and summertime treat. One slice uses my take on shichimi togarashi and crisp chili threads, the other is simple za'atar, both excellent with in-season lemon.
Pit and peel the avocado and chop it roughly on a cutting board. Season with a pinch or two of fleur de sel, which will stay nicely crunchy, and a small squeeze of lemon. Mix on the board with a fork, mashing lightly like you're making guacamole. I prefer this to just mashing avocado onto the bread as you get a better distribution of flavors and textures, and can more evenly season the avocado.°
Divide the avocado between the two slices of toast and top one with Autre Shichimi and chili threads, and one with Za'atar. Serve with more fresh lemon.
‡Avocado tips:buy them green and hard, make sure the skins aren’t spotty, that they are from Mexico or California, and that the stem is firmly attached. Ripen them on the counter until the stem end yields gently to the touch, generally 3-5 days (if you need them to ripen faster put them together with bananas in a paper bag, the ethylene gas from the bananas will speed the process). When they are ripe you can move them to the top shelf in the refrigerator to maintain peak freshness and texture for a few more days.
°I'll do a regular mash when I want to minimize moisture in the avocado layer, such as in my recipe for Espelette Crab Toast.
Variations & Ideas
- Add a touch of fine lemon zest to the avocado if you prefer more brightness and bitterness.
- Buttering the toast is never a bad idea, and adds richness and depth.
• I like the contrast of two very different flavor profiles in this recipe, with the sesame providing a common element. You can always choose to make just one or the other too, it's still great.
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