Toast with butter has been around forever. Avocado toast has been around the United States for at least for 15 years.

As a New Yorker I first had it at Cafe Gitane on Mott Street, where they keep it simple—avo, chili flakes, and olive oil. Then, slowly but surely, the concept made its way onto menus across America. Though I think we can safely say this trend probably originated in Australia.

Two years ago, I went to San Francisco where I paid $4 for a piece of thick whole wheat raisin toast with butter, cinnamon sugar, and salt at the Mill. Yes, I paid four whole dollars for toast, and I'd do it again.

Not only was it divine, but if you think about making bread—really good-quality bread—as an art form, I love it even more. (You probably will too, after listening to this amazing story on This American Life about a baker's personal connection to toast.)

So, where is toast headed next?

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Jean-Georges, the chef and restaurateur behind the farm-to-table ABC Kitchen serves a squash and ricotta toast with a cultlike following, and Aussie cafe Bluestone Lane touts are squash smash on their menu.

This raises the questions: Is squash toast the new avocado toast? Maybe. Or how about we say, the root veggie toasts are the wave of the future?

Regardless, all of this trending toast has inspired us to create some recipes of our own. Here are three tips on how to create a piece of toast that has your name on it.

1. The bread

It's very important to pick the best bread. And that's really up to you—whether it's a sourdough, organic whole wheat, or a sprouted-grain version. The only rule is that it must be toasted!

2. The veggie

If you decide to stick with avocado, just make sure it's ripe and ready for slicing. If you go with squash puree, add a little spice to it. If you do beets, add a touch of yogurt. If you go with carrots, try curry flavors or anchovies, if you eat fish. Or maybe it's pureed cauliflower, in which case, add a miso butter.

3. The toppers

Za'taar, sumac, toasted pistachios (or any nut for that matter), drizzled honey (or maple syrup), an egg (scrambled or soft-boiled), a dollop of labneh, tahini, toasted sesame oil, or your favorite pesto are all amazing options.


Curried Carrot Smash Toast

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch rounds
  • Olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 teaspoons madras curry (any curry will work)
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 8 slices your favorite thick-sliced bread, toasted

Preparation

1. In a small pot, boil carrots for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Once done, drain the carrots and set aside to cool.

2. In a small sauté pan, over low-medium heat sauté shallots in olive oil; after 1 minute, add curry and pinch of salt. Once shallots look caramelized, set aside.

3. In a blender combine, carrots, shallots, and coconut milk. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate if desired and add to your favorite piece of toast. Top it with one of the ideas mentioned above.


Beet-Labneh Toast

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-size red beets, sliced in half
  • Olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¾ tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup labneh (or Greek yogurt)
  • 8 slices your favorite thick-sliced bread, toasted
  • salt

Preparation

1. In a small pot, boil beets for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Once done, drain them and set aside to cool. Then remove skin with either a knife or peeler.

2. In a small sauté pan, over low-medium heat sauté shallots in olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Once shallots look caramelized set aside.

3. In a blender combine beets, shallots, vinegar, and labneh. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate if desired and add to your favorite piece of toast. Top it with one of the ideas mentioned above.


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