How to make your own avocado toast

avocadotoast (1).jpg

As a millennial, I am genetically predisposed to like avocado toast, craving it any time of day, willing to give up a limb to get my hands on some.

Is that right?

We are living in a time of peak avocado toast. And while the dish has been on menus at many a trendy restaurant for some time now, it really rose to the level of mass cultural awareness back in May when an Australian property mogul named Tim Gurner told 60 Minutes that in order to be able to buy a house, millennials needed to start saving money. And that means no toast.

"When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn't buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each," he said. "We're at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day, they want travel to Europe every year."

Sure, okay. Economics aside, there's no need to single out avocado toast, which, as far as trendy dishes go is actually a very solid and often delicious option. And yes, I do own a house!

Of course, the cheapest way to go about consuming avocado toast is to make it yourself, and I'm happy to report that the homemade version can taste just as good as the $19 one.

I went on a wild tear recently when I just had to have a thick, toasty piece of bread smothered in avocado. I came up with the recipe below, the utter simplicity of which proved to me that avocado toast deserves to be a star with or without all the millennial shaming. (Read this full post on tampabay.com.)

avocadotoast (2).JPG

It's a reliable recipe, but the great thing about avo toast is that it provides a relatively blank canvas for improvisation.

My No. 1 tip is to use bread you made yourself. There is simply no substitute for bread that was made 30 minutes before you eat it. Plus, you can cut it into a desired thickness. (For me, the thicker the better.)

This loaf is simple to make: Click here for the recipe, which I consult OFTEN. (For more bread-making tips, check out Times food critic Laura Reiley's manifesto from a few years back.)

If you're going for a store-bought bread, use something dense and sturdy that won't sag under the weight of sumptuous avocado.

Also, feel free to get creative with your toppings. There's really no need to pile on, as the point is to let the avocado shine. But a little something goes a long way.

Try pomegranate seeds for something fun and unexpected, maybe with a slight drizzle of honey over the whole thing. Or how about raw sunflower seeds? Microgreens lend a subtle, earthy touch. My current favorite way to eat avocado toast is to smear it atop a thin layer of goat cheese, then top with a soft-boiled egg.

And after working on this story, I was also inspired to douse the toast in flavored salts. Perfection.

Avocado Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 slices thick-cut bread of your choice
  • 2 small avocados or 1 large avocado
  • 1 lemon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 lime
  • Maldon or coarse sea salt

Instructions

Toast bread in an oven or toaster until browned and crunchy. This is important; soft bread will lead to soggier toast.

Remove green flesh from avocado by cutting it in half, then pitting it and scooping out flesh. Place flesh in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon into bowl, then sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a fork until avocado is mashed but still has some texture.

Spread avocado mixture onto toast. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, squeeze the juice from half of 1 lime over toast, then sprinkle with Maldon or other coarse sea salt. Top with any other toppings of your choice and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Source: Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times