So, when my husband told me he had "avocado toast" at a lunch in NYC with a colleague (one of the only vegetarian things on the brunch menu), I gave him one of those "oh no you di'int" blank stares. (It's a look I am semi-famous for!). He assured me at how great it was and how he couldn't stop thinking about it. "It's crave-able! Trust me." I'm sure I gave him one of my patented Marge Simpson guttural moans.
When we returned home from our trip, with few ingredients on hand to make dinner, I ran over to the farm stand near our house. Tons of Jersey tomatoes, great for sandwiches. "Hmmm... there are some avocados too. Hmmm... alright, I'll make him some friggin' avocado toast!" I caved. Truth-be-told, I have grown to love avocados over the past few years and their health benefits make me love them even more. That week, we had avocado toast every night for dinner. Totally caved. It's so easy to make and so good. Ok, I can see why it is a trend now. I give.
balsamic reductions are pretty easy to make, you just need a bit of time and patience. The result is a thick, sweet sauce that has hardly any lingering vinegar flavor.
You can use whatever bread you have on hand. Since these "artisinal toasts" are essentially just a trendy way of saying "opened-faced sandwich" you may want chose a hearty type that can stand the weight of your toppings. My favorites are the Tuscan Pane from Trader Joe's (pictured above) and Ezekiel bread. You can toast the bread in a plain ol' toaster, or get very chichi, and grill your bread using a little bit of olive oil and a cast iron pan.
Makes 2-4 (depending on your hunger and the size of the bread)
The recipe is for the avocado mash.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 TB vegan mayo
- 1 TB freshly minced basil
- 1 tsp freshly minced thyme
- 1/2 TB olive oil
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp good quality sea salt
- Mash all ingredients in a bowl, leaving some small chunks. Set aside in fridge.
- Toast or grill bread.
- Take one piece of toast, spread a thin layer of vegan mayo on the bread. Take a healthy sized scoop of the avocado mixture and spread over the mayo layer. Drizzle with a small amount of balsamic reduction. Add thinly sliced tomatoes (makes sure they are really good, juicy tomatoes-- not those pink and white kind from the off-season). Add more cracked sea salt. Top with arugula (I like a generous amount!) and then finish off with a drizzle of olive oil and cracked black pepper.
- Serve with a ton of napkins (or if you are super fancy, you can eat it with a knife and fork. I'm sure that would make your mom proud at how cultured you have become!)