Shambhavi's Avocado Toast with Attitude
Avocado toast is not the reason why millennials have student loan debt and can’t buy houses. A recipe with attitude.
Big duh, but avocado toast is not the reason why so many of us have student loan debt and can’t buy houses. Avocado toast is delicious, nourishing, and even affordable. Greed-fueled-capitalism is soul-sucking and planet destroying.
I grew up in a lower-middle class household in Philadelphia. Avocados actually were expensive back then, and we considered them to be a special treat. We never bought more than one at a time. Each precious fruit would be divided between however many of us were at the avocado-blessed meal.
I moved to California for undergrad and encountered the 10 avocados for $10 bin at the old Berkeley Co-op. I couldn’t believe it. Like avomanna from heaven. I slathered avocados on everything and sliced them wantonly into salads. I’m sure at some point during the frenzy, mashed avocado landed on my breakfast toast.
One of my favorite sandwiches was avocado (of course), pickled herring, feta cheese, and sprouts in a pita bread. I tried to recapture the magic once as a more adult adult and ewww! Much too intense.
Even though avocados are now more widely available and not so expensive, I’ve never really gotten over the feeling that by eating avocados, I’m “eating up” (above my class).
Here is a slightly more sophisticated take on the controversial toast. Admittedly, my version is not so easy on the wallet. My food preferences and expenditures have moved on. Adapt as you will.
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Makes 1-2 servings depending on your appetite.
2 slices of bread
Seggiano basil or tomato-basil pesto or homemade pesto - Seggiano contains no garlic or cheese. Any variety of pesto you prefer will work fine.
1 small, ripe avocado, peeled and coarsely mashed
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Olive oil to taste - I prefer the more green, bitter, unfiltered olive oil
6 toasted or raw hazelnuts, chopped roughly (Toasted nuts have more flavor.)
A splurch of white vinegar (Red vinegars will not do well in a pinch.)
Pink salt, or just salt
Ground pink peppercorns or just black pepper
Handful of microgreen sprouts
1. Boil up some water in a saucepan for poaching your eggs. Add a splurch of white vinegar to the water. Lower to a simmer.
2. Crack each egg into a cup or onto a large spoon. Slide them individually into the vinegary water.
3. Using a spoon, gently corral each egg into a more or less oval shape. Let simmer while you complete the rest of the steps.
4. Toast your bread.
5. Smush your lemon juice into the mashed avocado.
6. Spread pesto on each piece of toast.
7. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top of the pesto.
8. Slather on the avocado.
9. Drizzle olive oil over the avocado and then salt and pepper.
10. Using a largish slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the saucepan and set the spoon on a folded paper towel to drain excess water.
11. Plop one egg on each toast.
12. Anoint with more olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
13. Arrange a mound of microgreens atop the egg on each piece of toast
Use sliced turkey or canadian bacon instead of eggs
Substitute arugula or watercress for the microgreens
Leave off the pesto and hazelnuts. Instead, spread the toast with mango or cilantro-coconut chutney.
Leave off the protein and instead, add a layer of fromage blancor feta cheese
Super fancy alert!
Leave off the pesto, hazelnuts, and eggs. Instead, spread a generous layer of walnut butter on the toast. Add a thin layer of yuzu jam. Sprinkle the avocado with furikake.
Fromage blanc is a fresh white cheese, kind of like a lighter, more adult cream cheese. My favorite is Foggy Morning from Nicasio Valley Cheese.
I like French-style sheep’s milk feta. It’s creamier, lighter, and less salty than Bulgarian or Greek feta.
Yuzu is a magical citrus fruit used in Japanese cooking.
Furikake is a dry condiment made of seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and sometimes fish flakes. The version I’ve linked above also contains dried yuzu peel.