Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Craving: Avocado Toasts with Pine Nuts

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I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret. I really enjoy savory foods. A lot. I would reach for bread and olive oil over a piece of cake the majority of the time. I blame my father. I inherited his salt fanatic gene. I even salt my chocolate ice cream. Seriously. Try it. It'll rock your world, especially if it's a really deep rich chocolate. Salted chocolate chip cookies? Heck yeah! But anyway, I digress. You can imagine my intense yearning when I saw this old post on The Kitchn this morning—Avocado Toast. It's so simple. A baguette, olive oil, avocado, salt and pepper.

I was literally dreaming about this all day yesterday. Luckily I had to go to the grocery after work. I came home with baguette and avocado in hand, ready to mash that green goodness to a pulp! However, I wanted to add a little twist. My only problem with avocado is how mushy it is and I don't do well with savory mushy foods. I need texture. I need crunch. The toast would help, but why not add some nuts? Pine nuts! Or, if you're fancy, pignolis (that's the Italian term). I had pine nuts in my freezer left over from a batch of pesto awhile ago and the flavor pairing was actually perfect. You know how pine nuts have specific flavor to them? I don't know how to describe it—is that umami at work? (Anyone know this??) You could try pecans (my first consideration) or Marcona almonds, too. In my ideal world, I would also add a sprinkling of chopped bacon, but that can be another day.

While The Kitchn classified them as breakfast, I think these make the perfect little appetizer, the perfect little snack if you're hosting a gathering. After all, slices of baguette aren't that big so it's just the right size. Are you ready for this? Here we go.

::: Avocado Toasts with Pine Nuts :::
Adapted from The Kitchn

Baguette slices, approx .5-.75 inch thick
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher or Sea Salt
Pine Nuts (or nuts of your choosing)

Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet in the oven. I toasted mine at 350° for about 5-6 minutes. Check them after 3 minutes, flip them over, and toss the nuts on the baking sheet at this time. After those few minutes have passed, take the sheet out of the oven and drizzle the EVOO over the toast. I gave mine a good healthy covering. :-) Next, mash the avocado. There's no rule about how much you should put on the toasts so pile it up as much as you like! I generally think 1 TBSP can get you enough for 1-2 toast slices. Then sprinkle them liberally with big flakes of salt, pepper, and top with just a few nuts. Eat them while they're warm and you'll enjoy every second!

I made them later in the evening for my fiance. After he took his first bite he said "Yeah, these were worth dreaming about all day." See, I told you!
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