When in doubt, pretty much anything “on toast” is a great idea. Stumped for an appie? Desperate for a fun brunch side-dish? Explore your fridge, and put your findings on toast. Or, opt for one of these colourful, easy creations.
1. Pear, Brie and Thyme
This classic combo (top left) is guaranteed to impress guests with its refined combo of sweet, savoury and herb.
How To Make: layer the cheese of your choice, lots of thinly sliced pear (a mandolin comes in handy here) and a generous sprinkling of fresh thyme.
2. Smoky Black Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Cloves
Make a big batch of this super easy bean dip (top middle) for later. It lasts for weeks in the fridge and can double as chip dip.
How To Make: Place a head’s worth of garlic cloves on a small sheet of tin foil and drizzle generously with olive oil. Wrap the garlic up in the tin foil and place in oven for 30-40 minutes at 350F. While it bakes, add a can of black beans to your food processor, along with a big splash (or 2 tbsp) of smoked olive oil and lots of salt and pepper. Spread a thick layer of dip onto your toasted bread and top with golden, fragrant garlic cloves.
3. Roasted Mushrooms and Hummus with Fresh Rosemary
Hummus is a great building block for so many versions of #ThingsOnToast. The trick is adding extra, extra lemon (or lime) juice to make it pop.
How To Make: In a hot pan with olive oil and garlic, sautee your mushrooms of choice with rosemary until golden and fragrant. In a food processor, combine a can of chickpeas, 1/4 c. tahini, the juice of three lemons or limes and lots of salt and pepper. If you can resist eating the whole batch with a spoon, spread a seriously hefty amount of hummus onto toast and add mushrooms in a heaping pile on top. Finish with coarse salt.
4. Smoky Eggplant Dip with Pomegranate and Olive Oil
So far, this is my favourite recipe (bottom left) from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Plenty”. The intense smoky flavour derived from burning eggplants with flames on a stovetop burner is fantastic. With bright pops of red pomegranate seeds, this one is a big winner in the “pretty food” department. For the recipe, check out Plenty.
5. Honey, Buttter and Walnuts with Cracked Pepper
The easiest creation of the bunch (bottom middle) made with ingredients you’re bound to have in your fridge or pantry at all times. A great “emergency appie”.
How To Make: Simply spread butter onto toasts, then drizzle on some good local, small batch honey (did you know that most of the brands sold at big grocery stores don’t even contain pollen? Finding a good honey source is important….try Hives for Humanity), top with walnuts (or nuts of your choice) and finish with lots of fresh cracked pepper.
6. Avocado and Thinly-Sliced Radish with Olive Oil and Coarse Salt
Another winner in the pretty department (bottom right). There’s something about bright green avocado paired with bright pink radishes.
How To Make: Spread avocado slices onto toasted bread and top with thinly sliced radish (a mandolin makes this step extremely easy and results in attractive, uniformly sliced radish). Finish with a good olive oil (like Domenica Fiore) and a large pinch of coarse salt.