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For the past couple of years, I have basically ignored the “artisanal toast” trend that you may or may not even know exists. But make no mistake—fancy toast is definitely a thing, and if your local café doesn’t currently sell a version of avocado toast, then they soon will.
I never had any intention of getting involved in this toast situation, but as the Test Kitchen Chef at Food52, I was recently asked to provide breakfast for a small group of people and I felt uninspired about what to cook. To get motivated, I imagined myself standing in front of an infinitely long breakfast buffet containing every possible breakfast item imaginable. I asked myself: If I could only select one item from this infinite breakfast buffet, what would it be?
For whatever reason, on this particular day, I decided to forgo the frittata and skip the scone. My ideal breakfast item was ricotta toast: a thick pillowy slice of well-toasted brioche bread, creamy ricotta seasoned with a little lemon zest and juice, a drizzle of honey, and some cracks of freshly ground black pepper.
And just like that, I had hopped aboard the fancy toast bandwagon. You would be hard-pressed to find a snack that is so easy to make yet provides such pleasure. The key is using the best ricotta and the best brioche that you can possibly find. Whenever there are only a few ingredients in a recipe, those ingredients should be of the highest quality possible.
Even if the price of a slice of “artisanal toast” at your local cafe makes you recoil, you can't forget the bottom line—which is the fact these toasts are undeniably delicious. When you make them at home, they become an inexpensive treat that you can serve for breakfast, as a snack, or even as an hors d'oeuvre at a party.
- 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese (approximately 6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- zest of ½ lemon
- 1 small squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 thick slices of fresh brioche bread
- freshly ground black pepper
Your favorite fancy toast (everyone has one—cinnamon sugar? avocado? Champagne?): Go! In the comments below.