A few years ago, while I was an editor at Saveur, I got to review a cookbook that blew my mind.
It was called the new english kitchen: changing the way you shop, cook and eat and it was written by a British food journalist named Rose Prince.
Prince was not only an amazing source of home kitchen how-to and frugality (the title of the review was: Waste Not, Want Not: Can this British writer save the world, one stale loaf of bread at a time?) but her voice was completely captivating and straightforward, as if Mary Poppins was talking directly to me.
One of the best sections of the book was her list of what to do with toast.
Her suggestions further opened my eyes to the fact that a meal did not need to be a fussy affair.
Got a good loaf of day-old bread? Tomatoes? Butter? A well-stocked pantry? You got dinner.
So here are some of the tips she recommended (with a few of my own thrown in).
All you need is a loaf of fresh bread (ciabatta works well) and you can decide yourself if you want to toast in the toaster, in the oven, or on the grill. You can also decide when and if you want to brush the toast first with olive oil.
I like to put several of these out on the table so we can pick and choose, it’s especially fun to eat outside on a summer night.
10 Toasts For Dinner
1. Take goat cheese, crumble onto toast, top with some gently cooked peas that have been tossed in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
2. Fry some cherry tomatoes in a bit of butter until they get melty (or if you have more time you can roast them like this). Place tomatoes on toast, sprinkle with slivered basil and a dollop of creme fraiche.
3. Drain a can of cannellini beans. Mix with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pile on top of toast, drizzle with pesto, if you have some.
4. Top toast with wedge of cold omelet (maybe mixed with ham?), sprinkle with chives, olive oil, salt and pepper.
5. Top toast with almond butter or cashew butter, a drizzle of honey, and an apple wedge.
6. Rub toast with half of garlic clove. Place smashed avocado on top, a slice of asiago or sharp provolone, and then top with slice of prosciutto that’s been roasted on a sheet pan like this.
7. Spread toast with neufchatel cheese. Top with slice of smoked salmon, sprinkle with chives and a squeeze of lemon.
8. Spread toast with a bit of mayo. Top with any leftover roasted veggies. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
9. Rub toast with half of garlic clove. Slice chorizo and cook until crisp in pan with a bit of olive oil. Place chorizo on toast, top with manchego cheese.
10. Spread toast with a bit of mayo. Compose a cobb salad on top: leftover chicken, lettuce, corn, tomato, avocado, blue cheese, sprinkling of olive oil and sherry vinegar. Try to eat before it tumbles down.