Friday, March 29, 2013

Avocado Toast is the New Kale Salad


To pamper myself on an early weekday or weekend, I've started going to brunch on my own. Sure, I could wake up the boy before 8 to come with me, but food isn't a huge motivator for him in comparison to sleep, and I enjoy navigating places and experiences on my own. During one of my brunch voyages, I checked out Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar, located in the old Cafe Fanny space and conveniently located next to Acme Bread.

I've been there twice now, and my first order of avocado toast coupled with a cortado (1/2 espresso, 1/2 milk) was so good that I ordered the exact two items the second time I went there. And I was so enamored with avocado toast that I've made it several times for breakfast, snack, and dinner.

My first attempts at avocado toast were edible, but not blissful. Partially, this was because I had no patience and I didn't wait for one avocado to ripen, and the other avocado I bought was a bit past ripe. Since the avocado is the star of this dish, it has to be just right. The other reason it wasn't so great was logistical: so many dishes for one piece of toast. I had a bowl, a cast iron pan (for the toast - no toaster here), a cutting board, a knife, a plate, and a fork to wash afterwards.

Subsequent attempts reached the bliss point because, the second time I went to Bartavelle, I had a seat at the counter and watched my toast being made.  And now I will share it with you.


Start with a 3/4" piece of levain, Acme has the best, but any rustic loaf will do. If you have a toaster, throw it in on the "lightly toasted" setting. If you don't have a toaster, heat up a cast iron pan on medium and toast the bread on both sides. Once your toast is done, drizzle one side with olive oil, and mash 1/2 an avocado onto the toast using a fork.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the avocado, and mash a little bit more. Finish by sprinkling some crunchy salt (I used Maldon smoked salt flakes), chili flakes (I have a stash of Korean chili flakes that are fruity and hot, but Bartavelle uses marash peppers), and drizzle with more olive oil. Done!

10 comments:

  1. Food of the gods. Sourdough toast is essential, then I like a little hot sauce mashed through the avo, and some flaky sea salt.

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    1. Hot sauce... I like that idea! I was also thinking about sprinkling on some smoked paprika.

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  2. That's funny, I've been all about kale salads this winter. I've always loved avocado toast- I usually put a little honey on it, I'll have to try this savory version. It's my go to order at a bagel shop: toasted bagel with avo, then I add a little touch of honey. Much better than the over processed cream cheese.

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    1. I've never thought to put honey on it! I've had a Vietnamese avocado shake, and that was sweetened with condensed milk. It was pretty good.

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  3. Yum!
    This makes me reminisce about my favorite summertime lunch of half an avo, cottage cheese and fresh tomato, sprinkled with salt and Tandoori spice mix, one I get at the spice shop in Murphys on the way to Bear Valley.

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    1. Tandoori spice mix plus avocados? Yum!

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  4. Shoot! I have the perfect avocado sitting in my kitchen waiting to "become" avocado toast, but I'm pretty sure I'm out of sourdough, and I'm too lazy to get off the couch and go to the store to buy some. I'll have to wait until another day I guess. I'm putting Bartavelle on my "I want to go to that restaurant" list on Pinterest.

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    1. Oh, yes, definitely stop by Bartavelle if you're the Berkeley area. It's so good!

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  5. So...I have to tell you that you've kind of made me obsessed with "avocado toast." My husband and I usually have a glass of wine (I started to type "little glass," but that would have been a lie!) in the late afternoon before dinner, and I've had avocado toast like three times in the past week. I bought some smokey Spanish paprika recently, and I sprinkle some of it on there, and I'm pretty much in heaven. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I'm glad you like it! Avocado toast is such a simple and satisfying snack.

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