This delectable little treat has become a new addiction of mine. Driven by a need to rip through a bag of 5 avocados I bought at BJ's last week for the past few days I've been eating one of these tartines at both breakfast AND lunch.
I am a HUGE fan of avocados and eat them regularly either sliced on sandwiches, cubed and tossed into salads, or smashed into guacamole. This simple tartine was inspired by an Avocado Council commercial I've seen on the TV lately where a cute little cartoon avocado dances around the screen singing about ways it likes to be eaten (it's not as creepy as it sounds….. really). One of the ways "she" sang about was to be spread on a piece of toast at breakfast and while eating avocado for breakfast was not something I had ever considered before, I had a lot of them to get through in a very short time horizon so I was willing to try something new.
This fact highlights one of the challenges of buying avocados in bulk……they all seem to ripen at the exact same time and must be used within 1-2 days of being perfectly ripe before they dissolve into a bruised looking, pulpy mass. If only they would have the courtesy to ripen at a pace of one every other day all of our panic induced avocado binge eating could be avoided, but alas avocados aren't nearly that clever. Once they ripen you can toss them in the fridge to slow the over-ripening process and buy yourself a little more time, but the bottom line is that if you buy them in bulk you should have a pretty good plan in place for how you'll use them or you're likely to face tossing them in the trash in a few days.
Being relatively creative in the kitchen I figured "no worries, I'll come up with a least a few new things to do with these, and even if I can't I can always chuck them into a smoothie in the end rather than waste them". Turns out I didn't need that much creativity at all, I just needed this recipe to easily get me through my bulk purchase. Actually, I should'nt even call it a recipe because it is really more of a simple concept than anything. In fact, I'm not even going to write out a recipe for this dish because it's just not required. This dish is SO simple to make that the only real challenge you'll have is to make sure your avocado is perfectly ripe.
If you buy them frequently, then you know how disappointing it is to cut one open to find it is either still too hard and flavorless, or an over-ripe, brown-stringy mess. Over the years I've come to trust 2 tests that never fail me when checking the ripeness of my avocados before cutting. The first is to place it in the palm of my hand and gently squeeze with my palm and the whole length of my fingers (just using fingertips can bruise a ripe avocado); the flesh should give slightly and feel pleasantly soft, it should not collapse under the pressure and you should not feel a void between the skin and the flesh, if you do it is over-ripe, if it is still hard it's under-ripe. The 2nd test I use is to pick the little stem free from the end of the fruit (yes, avocados are fruits), it should be easily removed and the flesh underneath should be pale green. If you really have to dig to get it free the fruit is unripe, if it falls off very easily and the flesh underneath is brown and dry, it is over-ripe.
Once you have your perfectly ripened avocado toast up your favorite slice of bread, place 1/2 of the pitted and peeled avocado on the toast and smash it with a fork until the consistency of a chunky guacamole. Sprinkle with a crunchy salt (I use Maldon Sea Salt), some freshly ground black pepper (I used some Aleppo Pepper for the one you see here because I thought it would show more prominently in the photos….such a slave to food-fashion, am I), top with a chiffonade of fresh basil (or perhaps some cilantro leaves), and finish with a drizzle of your best, fruity EVOO.
Prepare to be blown away.
The buttery richness of the avocado paired with the peppery-herbal notes of the basil, the fruitiness of the EVOO, and the crunch of the toast and salt will make this a fast favorite go-to breakfast or lunch for you….I promise!
Cheers – Steve