Genius Recipes

This New, Surprisingly Delicious Avocado Toast Will Confuse You (in the Best Way)

This recipe has no salt. We repeat: No salt.

January  8, 2020

Every week in Genius Recipes—often with your help!—Food52 Creative Director and lifelong Genius-hunter Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that will change the way you cook.

In my struggle to come to terms with the idea of food trending and then going away, I think of it this way: The best food trends lift up more dishes for us to love, and the good ones stick.

Avocado toast, of course, is one of the good ones.

Avocado toast was here long before we all started talking about it and it will be here long after we’ve stopped. (Unicorn frappuccinos, sadly, will not.)

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Top Comment:
“Dried cranberries on avocado toast is also delicious!”
— Roberta

Maybe we’ll stop paying $16 for it at restaurants one day, but at home, we’re firmly committed. (Google doesn’t see us not-talking about it anytime soon, either—searches are still growing, peaking in January each year.)

But despite (or maybe because of) it living in my forever collection of thingamabobs and quick snacks, I always seem to top in the same predictable way: lemon for acid, cumin for warmth, chile for heat. Each choice is about framing and contrasting with a raft of creamy avocado.

And, obviously, salt. Because everything needs salt—especially avocado, the richest fruit, the subtlest butter. Right?

Well, no. As I learned from Apollonia Poilâne’s shockingly delicious avocado tartines in her new cookbook, Poilâne, none of this is necessarily true. With more thoughtful seasoning, not everything needs salt—even for a palate like mine that expects generous amounts of it.

Instead, Apollonia seasons her tartines with lime zest and juice, chile flakes, and honey—each balancing and brightening and delicately elbowing salt out of the picture—but also, less predictably, with ripe banana.

This is where my contrasts-only avocado toast philosophy really fails. Banana is more of a cousin to avocado than a foil. Their textures are almost indistinguishable, soft on more soft, and their flavors must surely sit in the same zone of our taste buds or those wine-tasting wheels: Mild. Creamy. Palatable. (Babies love them.)

But sometimes setting two things this similar next to each other can draw out their subtle differences more: The banana tastes a bit sweeter, the avocado a little more green.

This certainly isn't the first or only place the two have canoodled: Bananas or sweet plantains and avocado are commonly served (and grown) together in Latin America, and chefs have played with the pairing in everything from chaat to guacamole to cookies. Pierre Hermé’s macaron with avocado, banana, and dark chocolate was Apollonia’s inspiration here.

Perhaps it's the start of a trend. And we get to keep it.

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Perhaps something perfect for beginners? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • GranDoll
  • Glenn
  • poemkat
  • jelyapt
  • bonnie rose
    bonnie rose
I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


GranDoll February 1, 2020
I love this, so easy and quick. By the time the bread is toasted, everything is prepared. I especially appreciate the way Apollonia showed me a new way to toast bread. I can't wait to try it after I'm done eating all the avocado-banana toast.
Glenn January 16, 2020
This is awesome! I REALLY enjoy this. All the flavors work for me!!
poemkat January 16, 2020
I tweaked this a bit, knowing what was best for my own tastes. A small amount of Maldon salt on the avocado and no red pepper flakes. I also used super good honey, from Italy, and very good whole grain seed bread, so there wasn't much likely to go wrong here. I liked it a lot.
jelyapt January 12, 2020
The recipe was just ok. I thought that the bananas overpowered the avocado. I prefer my mashed avocados on toast with a touch of salt and a drizzle of hot sauce.
bonnie R. January 12, 2020
skeptic won over. made it exactly as described even though i don't love honey. it's just perfect! i think it's the lime that makes it work. whatever it is, it's da bomb!
Liz S. January 9, 2020
@edamame2003: brilliant, succinct comment! I commented previously, but not as well! I am so very glad that I did not dismiss either the article, the video OR the recipe … despite a bit of "ew" (banana and avocado) as well as "not another avo toast thing" thoughts in my head. But, I enjoy Kristen Miglore's videos and pace of telling the story so read the article which (as well as the bread in the photo) motivated me to watch the video. I am always attracted to passion, as in people who are passionate about what they do. Apollonia's passion for bread, for bread recipes, for the bakery as well as many things involving the people who bake and who eat … it comes through in the video and made me want more. I am just beginning the book. The writing is beautiful and the story(ies) are poignant.

If I have any New Year's Resolution(s) it is to open my mind to possibilities, to learn and to try new things. This simple, almost dismissed post as well as the book … hit all of those buttons for me! Thank you Kristen and Apollonia for sharing all of this.
Virginia January 8, 2020
Sorry, but bananas and avocado just don't do it for me.
edamame2003 January 8, 2020
Thank you for this! This video/recipe has a beautiful story behind it; and such a lovely interesting take on avo toast. And I am from LA, so original avo toast is always appreciated.
GrannyGlo January 8, 2020
What is with avocado toast being so trendy? I've been eating it for over 50 years and my parents ate it as children. People have been eating it for years and years people!! It's not new!! Enjoy it however you want you can't go wrong with avocado toast!!
Marck January 8, 2020
Very very Good! Congratulations.
Liz S. January 8, 2020
I was skeptical, but I watched the video because I have been a sourdough/naturally leavened bread baker for some years and the bread looked so good. Excellent video and it enticed me to give the combo a try. I like all of the ingredients separately and turns out, I LOVE this combination!! Plus, it is great on the potassium-magnesium-no salt, i.e. blood pressure friendly. I am hooked!
Liz S. January 8, 2020
I am not a cookbook buyer … have just a few basics and otherwise peruse blogs and Food52 :) … but I bought this one … for the bread and more of the story.
Roberta January 8, 2020
Interesting combo! I see it’s all about the layering. But as a happy omnivore I’d ditch the honey as ‘nana is sweet enough on its own and top it off with crispy crumbled bacon. And if I’m feeling really indulgent I’d add a generous knob of crumbled Meredith Goats cheese. Perfect! Nuttiness of avo, sweetness from the banana, saltiness from the bacon & tang & creaminess from the goats cheese!
Ps. Dried cranberries on avocado toast is also delicious!
Irene O. January 8, 2020
That to me is way too many ingredients, the avocado taste gets lost and that to me is what it is all about
Irene O. January 8, 2020
This sounds so bad , I can't even try it. I just like avocado on toast with salt and pepper. Keep the avocado taste authentic.
HS January 8, 2020
I'm not sure why this is such a surprising combo... I combine the two frequently! If I'm in a huge rush to fill up my belly fast, I cube up one avocado, one banana and an equal volume of tomatoes, sprinkle some kosher salt, splash on balsamic vinegar, and boom, I'm done.
Sophia H. January 8, 2020
Avocado and banana was my favorite baby food. My mom has the same blender until I was 10. She told me the combination was not bad. But have never been tempted to try them together since, so...

Maybe I will try this
FS January 8, 2020
This recipe is a hard fail, and quite frankly, just looking at it makes me queasy. My avocado toasts get salt and acid and a little ground pepper, and absolutely no bananas.
Organicmom January 8, 2020
Check your palate. Been making avo-banana smoothies forever and hot pepper is integral to guacamole. This combination is a no brainier and quite good.
FS January 8, 2020
Check the recipe - it calls for toast. Avo-banana smoothies are something else altogether since neither ingredient dominates.
Organicmom January 8, 2020
OMG, extrapolate. It's the combination of ingredients which work well together. This will be my last comment on the recipe- one that I have previously made without the guidance of a website.
Melissa S. January 10, 2020
I tried it and think it’s really a texture thing. I could hardly distinguish the avo from the banana, but it was very pleasantly creamy. The citrus and spice, I used chipotle powder & lemon, were terrific with the fruits. I used our local artisan bakery sourdough miche, which is reminiscent of Poilane’s. Maybe this is key to the successful pairing, a good artisan-baked miche? Anyway, It’s quite good. I will make it often.