5 Ingredients or Fewer

Avocado Toast

by:
January 27, 2020
5 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
Author Notes

Over the past 30 years, avocado toast has been the subject of culty obsession, disbelieving derision, and often both at once. This mashed-fruit-on-bread has turned into an edible example of Instagram culture, and culinary appropriation and gentrification. A brief history: Avocado toast became a thing in 2011, thanks to Jessica Koslow’s all-day Los Angeles café, Sqirl. Koslow had adopted the toast (and good vibes) from another all-day cafes in Australia. And before all this, avocado glut plus tortilla was so ubiquitous a snack in pre-colonial Mexico (bread was introduced by European colonists during the 1500s), that it seemed silly to call it a trend, let alone develop a recipe.

But here we are, in 2020, giving you one. You don’t have to go to a hip café, bakery, or restaurant to enjoy good avocado toast. You can and should make it at home—and often.

First, the bread: nothing too soft, too white, or too fluffy. Go for a seedy, square, and wheaty loaf from your local bread baker. An aggressive toast protects against an all-mush experience, provides a better base for mashing against, and brings toasty, roasty flavors to the creamy, fresh party. I personally love the dry, hard toast that a toaster provides, but feel free to fry your bread in a bit of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet.

When it comes to the avocado, you don’t have to go so far as creating a rose. I’m team slice-and-mound, versus purée-and-mound (this is not guacamole toast, after all). The slicing creates distinct chunks of creamy avocado, while the slight mashing adheres the avocado to the toast, keeps everything intact while you nosh.

As for toppings, go as simple or extravagant as your morning (or afternoon or evening) allows. I’m equally happy eating avo toast topped with a poached egg, aleppo pepper, and spicy olive oil, as I am eating one with only salt and pepper off a kitchen towel. The template below is wonderful as is, or you could build up from there. Consider: watery-crisp ribbons of veg, nutty and seedy sprinkles, fluffy herbs, an oozy egg. —Coral Lee

  • Prep time 2 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Makes 2 toasts
Ingredients
  • 2 slices seeded bread
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 lemon or lime wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, aleppo pepper, or freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Toast the bread until it’s a deep brown and very crisp. Halve and pit the avocado. Use a paring knife to thinly slice the flesh lengthwise, then a spoon to scoop it out. Mound each half onto each toast and use the back of the spoon to smush and fan out the slices. Squeeze lemon or lime over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper flakes, and finish with olive oil.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Catherine
    Catherine
  • Siubobo95
    Siubobo95
  • Gammy
    Gammy
Coral Lee is an Associate Editor at Food52. Before this, she cooked food solely for photos. Before that, she cooked food solely for customers. And before that, she shot lasers at frescoes in Herculaneum and taught yoga. When she's not writing about or making food, she's thinking about it. Her Heritage Radio Network show, "Meant to be Eaten," explores cross-cultural exchange as afforded by food. You can follow her on Instagram @meanttobeeaten.

3 Reviews

Siubobo95 June 12, 2020
I had an overripe avocado in the frig and was about to throw it out. Then I remember this simple way of using the avocado instead of butter. I spread it over the toast and it proves to be another great successful marriage of two simple things! My very finicky cat was staring at me enjoying the toast so I gave her a slice of the creamy avocado. She loved it so much that she licked it clean! I am wondering if cats can eat avocado but so far she hasn’t done the scary thing of retching and puking!
 
Catherine February 5, 2020
This is how I've always made my avocado toast at home. My mom made it too in this fashion before it was a "thing", being from California and having access to awesome avocados. I love a good wheat bread, definitely extra toasted, but personally stay away from aggressively seedy loaves. I feel they sometimes get in the way of the beautiful, creamy texture of the avocado. Nevertheless, simple is best! Let the avocado shine :)
 
Gammy January 28, 2020
You nailed it, Coral Lee! Hearty toast... super-multigrain or sourdough are my favorites. 1/2 an avocado per slice of bread*. Slice and fan out, then smush lightly into the toast. a squeeze or 2 of lime and a dusting of finishing salt. Haven't tried pepper flakes yet.
* Try those baby avocados at Trader Joe, their seed is also much smaller, but you can use a full baby avocado per slice of toast. Great for those of us who only eat one slice at a time.