4th meal,  appetizers + hors d'oeuvres,  breakfast + brunch,  comfort food,  party food + snacks,  sandwiches + roll-ups

Toast 6+ Ways

Toast is one of my ultimate comfort foods.

The toast in the top right corner is a layer of Gournay topped with sweet mini-peppers, Thai basil, and scallions.

When I was very little, toast was front and center of my morning routine with my father. I was his official self-appointed toast maker. Every morning, as he was shaving, I would prepare his toast. How many times had I under toasted the bread or was overzealous with the butter or the dollop of my mom’s homemade peach preserves? Who knows, because my sweet dad said it was “absolutely perfect!” every.time. Dad and I took turns fixing each others’ toast for many years. Toast was our love language. Toast was our thing.

Today’s toast transcends the white bread stereotype. It is no longer simply a utilitarian slice of bleached flour bread popped into the toaster and carried out the door between your teeth when your hands are full.  No. We are grownups now, for goodness sake, and so is our bread + spread. Our slices now may be artisanal and the toppings carte blanche. We have merely touched the tip of the iceberg in this Toast 6+ Ways post.

Here we will dive into some breads + spreads to enjoy at any time of day, for any occasion. But just to be clear: when I refer to toast, I mean any toasted or grilled bread, also called crostini. And by spreads I mean any + all things slatherable.  I am offering 6+ tried and true combos here. The + means toast is your blank canvas to decorate as you desire. As long as you have bread and something to top it with, you’re standing in the winner’s circle (and that’s a +).

BREADS: Toasted slices of bread are like little plates, just begging to be topped with goodness. Choose your favorite breads and toast them to desired doneness. The toastier the bread, the sturdier your little plate is. If using a baguette, slicing it on the diagonal with give you a larger plate for loading up all that goodness.

A sliced + toasted baguette is perfectly accompanied by homemade Gournay.

SPREADS: try hummus, aioli, mayonnaise, artisanal butters, olive oil, salad dressings, cheeses—anything spreadable. Whatever floats your boat.

These tomatoes and mozzarella pearls appreciated their spa day soaking in balsamic glaze.

When you check out the combos below, you will see the measurements are inexact. Toast screams for personalization! You want Limburger cheese?  You do you. You want broccoli florets? You do you. As much, as many, or as few. You.Do.You.

When it’s hot outside, cool toast is a terrific back pocket summer recipe for a brunch gathering. Set up a toast bar for your crowd—you are only limited by your imagination!

Each of the Toast 6+ Ways pairs beautifully with your favorite sparkling wine. You simply cannot go wrong.

Bon appetit!

XXOO  AB

If you make any or all of the Toast 6+ Ways, I would love to hear about it. Post a comment below and tag #nakedepicurean on Instagram so we can celebrate together!

Toast 6+ Ways

INSTRUCTIONS

Lay the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of your oven and low broil for 4-5 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Flip and and repeat if more toastiness is desired.

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Mediterranean Chop-Chop Toast

Chop any or all of the following: cucumber, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, red onion. Add a schmear of store bought or homemade hummus to your bread and layer with your Mediterranean blend. Top with crumbled feta cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice, and freshly ground or cracked S + P.


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Heirloom Tomato + Herbed Cheese Toast

Slather homemade or store-bought Gournay-style herbed cheese on your toast or crostini. Add a layer of fresh tomato slices, fresh basil, mozzarella pearls, balsamic glaze, freshly cracked pepper and an herbal fleur de sel.


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Creamy Cucumber Toast

Slice cucumbers and place them in a colander. Toss with a large pinch of salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes, then gently pat dry with a paper towel (this process is called “salting” your cucumbers to pull out excess water). Add cucumbers, some plain yogurt, thinly sliced red onion, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some fresh dill to a large bowl; season with freshly ground or cracked S + P.  Add cucumbers to bread or slather on your favorite homemade or store-bought mayo or aioli before layering.


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Mashed Avocado Toast

Mash avocados with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon lemon juice, and a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Rub a peeled garlic clove over your bread, then spread your mashed avocado. Pass freshly ground or cracked S + P across the toast and add microgreens, if desired.


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Pear + Bleu Cheese + Honey + Walnuts Crostini

Slice pears and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to keep them from browning.  Add a layer of sliced bleu cheese, then top with pears, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of lightly toasted walnuts. A sage leaf on top is a nice addition.

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Prosciutto + Arugula + Parmesan Toast

Toss a handful of arugula with some olive oil.  Layer crostini with prosciutto, arugula, and Parmesan flakes. Top with a good, coarse grind of peppercorns, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and a basil leaf, if desired.

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