Avocado toast to the rescue

Avocado toast to the rescue

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Japan

Maybe when you hear “avocado toast” you roll your eyes at the trendy food fad. Or maybe you squeal with delight because you’re all about the avocado—perhaps you even have avocado pajamas, socks or Christmas tree ornaments found all over the Internet.

Regardless of where you stand on the scale of avocado love, don’t let the social media photos and fancy restaurants discourage you from making avocado toast an easy, quick and healthy tool in your cooking arsenal.

What’s the big deal with avocado toast?

I’m not sure when the obsession with avocado toast started, or even why it became so popular. But I can understand why the love has continued. . . Whether it’s a meal or a snack, the concept of “avocado toast” is versatile and flexible. Don’t be deterred by elaborate restaurant menu descriptions or the trendiness of it; at its root, this toast is a blank canvas that can be simple or fancy, healthy or indulgent.

And these days, I’m looking for meal ideas that are all these things: delicious, easy, healthy and flexible, all without requiring too many dishes.

It’s versatile.

Whether it is breakfast, brunch, an afternoon snack or dinner, the avocado can be featured. For breakfast and brunch, some people put avocado in smoothies to add creaminess and nutrients. But, of course, this fruit can be featured more prominently on your favorite slice of bread.

On the weekends I’m all about a fun, languorous brunch, but lately, I’m really not about a laborious Saturday dish washing session. So, we’ve found a happy medium recently with lots of experimentation with avocado toast. We dig through the fridge, finding bits and pieces of things that might go well on this savory canvas and build a little avocado toast bar (thanks to the idea from What’s Gaby Cooking). Topped with a poached, fried or scrambled egg, it becomes a satisfying brunch that tides us over.

Here are some ideas for your avocado toast bar:

Eggs, poached, fried or scrambled (however you prefer)

Cheese, shredded or spooned (like goat cheese)

Meat or fish, such as bacon or smoked salmon

Pickled red onions

Chopped tomatoes or fresh pico de gallo

Black beans or chickpeas

Greens (we like arugula or baby spinach)

Herbs like cilantro, parsley or dill

Flaky sea salt

Seeds, like flaxseeds, pepitas, sunflower or chia seeds

We also enjoy a piece of toast for an afternoon snack, or after a workout. You can go simpler and just do the avocado with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt or one of my favorite seasonings, Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning.

It’s seasonal.

Not only is avocado toast versatile when it comes to what kind of meal you’re eating or serving, but it is also flexible with whatever season it is and what produce is easy to find. Summer toasts could include corn and radishes, whereas springtime could feature asparagus and peas.

And maybe you’re looking more for an appetizer or you aren’t a big bread eater? Swap it for your favorite crackers and you can have your own bite-size avocado spreads. If you do use bread, whether it’s gluten-free or a slice from your favorite European bakery, use what you have and what you like.

Another avocado toast hot tip: Are you over trying to use a spoon or fork to mash avocado, often ending up in spilled creamy goodness on your counter, floor or clothes? I recently discovered this mini-potato masher is perfect for getting my avocado smooth and spreadable, without the mess.


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