Avocado toast is a staple in my diet, and in many of yours, I’m sure. And of course! It is appropriate for all times and places. It can be dinner on those evenings when one is short on time and unsure what to eat, part of an impressive breakfast for houseguests, star of the sort of lazy Sunday brunch that’s best enjoyed on the couch with your feet up, an afternoon snack before dashing out of the house. Any sort of bread can be the base, from a seed-heavy whole grain loaf to a chewy sourdough to the no-frills sliced bread you bought at the grocery store.
And it goes far beyond the bread: avocado toast is entirely customizable. You can prepare it simply or all dolled up. Lemon juice, good olive oil, flaky sea salt and cracked pepper are essential in my book, but from there, the possibilities are endless. I learned from Laura the deliciousness of nutritional yeast; at the delightful Berkeley cafe Bartavelle, I discovered Marash pepper. I’m not sure who recommended rubbing just-toasted bread with a cut clove of garlic, but it’s the sort of small step that yields a subtle yet tremendous difference. And with an egg—fried, poached or soft boiled, runny yolk highly recommended—this toast walks confidently into meal territory.
On top of all of that, avocado toast is both healthful and comforting. This, if you ask me, is about as close to perfection as we get.
There are times for fanfare, of course: meals of many courses, yeasted things that demand a day of waiting, pots that bubble for hours. But there are times, too, for simplicity. After all, our most beautiful and profound moments usually spring from the everyday, from those quiet moments when we don’t expect a thing. And so, avocado toast. As good a meal as any, and easier than most, this one is sure to leave you contented.
I served this toast for breakfast when our dear friends Josh and Sara were staying with us a couple of weekends ago, and they declared it one of the best things they ate on the trip. High praise after a string of food-centric days in the Bay! I’m flattered and unsure if I’m deserving, but either way, their appreciation reminded me that while this is still the simplest of meals (and very hard to ruin entirely), I’ve learned some tips and tricks over the years that set me up for making a pretty excellent piece of avocado toast. I’m sure this is review for some of you, but since no one should be eating mediocre toast—especially in this day and age—I thought I ought to share!
And what about you? What do you put atop your avocado toast? What tips would you add to the mix? I’d love to know!
The Very Best Avocado Toast
It just so happens that Samin has christened this #EggMonth, making this recipe all the more timely. What follows is our favorite way to prepare sunny-side up eggs at home. Ben is typically in charge of egg-making and deserves the credit there. As for the instructions on how to toast your bread, I must again tip my hat to Cal Peternell. I’ve made toast a good many ways, and this is the most perfect method for making thick, soft toast I’ve found, by far. This is the toast I always dreamed of but only occasionally managed to achieve until I found this technique.
Other excellent toppings that aren’t listed here include sesame seeds, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast—all three of these best when added atop your avocado with the first sprinkling of salt—tomatoes in their season, feta cheese and Sriracha.
Good sourdough bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick
Whole garlic clove, sliced in half
Extra-virgin olive oil
Eggs from happy chickens/ducks/etc., 1 per toast
Avocado, about 1/2 per toast
Lemon juice, freshly squeezed if possible
Marash pepper flakes (or your preferred red pepper flakes)
Freshly cracked black pepper
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Micro greens (I am especially fond of arugula), or soft fresh herbs, like chives or parsley
Get all of your ingredients ready so that you can quickly assemble your toast once it’s ready and serve it nice and hot.
Begin with the toast. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Once hot, place the slices right on the rack (or use a baking sheet if you’d prefer). The toasts will be ready in about 5 minutes, once they’re golden brown and, if it’s to your taste, slightly blackened in places. Immediately rub the side of the toast you’ve deemed the top with a cut clove of garlic. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
As soon as the toast is out of the oven, make the eggs. Heat a cast-iron pan over a medium flame. Add a thin layer of olive oil (or use butter). Once the oil is shimmering (or the butter sizzling), crack in the eggs one at a time. Once the whites have set, cover the pan. At this point, you can add a little splash of water to the pan to help steam the eggs if you’d like. The eggs are done when the yolks are just barely set, about 3-4 minutes. You can gently touch the yolks to gauge doneness, which will make much more sense with practice.
If your avocados are very ripe, you can mash them directly onto the toast. Slice each halved avocado, scoop out the flesh and put it on the toast. Mash gently with a fork until the avocado is coarsely textured: you want a somewhat even consistency, but you don’t want to turn it into guacamole. If your avocados are less ripe, you can do this in a bowl, then transfer to the toast. Squeeze lemon juice over the avocado, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
Top each toast with a prepared egg. Finish with a generous sprinkling of Marash pepper flakes, freshly cracked black pepper, flaky sea salt and a small handful of micro greens or herbs.
Serve right away!