We all grew up with toast – whether for breakfast, lunch, or an after-school snack – and our own version of the simple yet versatile food, but for anyone getting tired of their usual fare or looking to impress their friends with their “cooking skills”, we’ve got some tried-and-true pairings to top your never-again-boring toast. Even with minimal ingredients, we can still eat like a king, or at least fake it with fancy presentation and plating. Such is the case for the open-faced sandwich, which we’ll now prove can be so much more sophisticated than a pauper’s bread and butter.
Ricotta and Artisan Jam
A twist on the classic PB and J, creamy ricotta spreads just like peanut butter but is lighter on the palate than heavy nut butter. Spread a generous layer of the white fluffy stuff and then a layer of artisan jam, if you happen to have a jar on hand. Great pairings are fig, rhubarb, raspberry, and cherry. Try on a thick slice of brioche bread.
Nut Butter with Bananas
Source: Sweet & Sour Gurus
If you can’t do toast without peanut butter, you can still have it and eat it too. Instead of slathering on grape or strawberry jelly, turn to the fruit that was made for peanut butter: the banana. If you have time, caramelize slices of banana in butter and sugar before arranging to your liking on the bed of peanut butter, or any nut butter you prefer. Give peanut butter’s cousins a try – almond butter, cashew butter, and sunflower butter if you have nut allergies.
Source: Huffington Post
No explanation needed. Just poach or fry up an egg, the only rule being don’t cook the yolk through. You NEED a runny yolk for this to qualify as egg on toast. Google toad in a hole for you ambitious chefs. Top with black pepper and coarse sea salt, and a sprinkling of chopped scallions if desired.
Avocado and Chili Flakes
Source: The Bitten Word
Whether the avocado craze is just peaking or almost over its peak, it’s definitely going strong still. And it can’t be beat. Slice up a ripe, buttery avocado or mash it up with lemon juice and pile it on high. If you like heat, throw on some chili flakes, which add both color and a kick.
Source: Free to be Lea
A very indulgent cheese topped sandwich, in case you’re not familiar with French. It’s a brunch staple similar to ham and cheese but with a generous slathering of béchamel, a white sauce made with milk and butter. Recreate this beauty with buttered toast, alternating slices of ham and cheese, store-bought béchamel, and a handful of shredded cheese to top before sticking it in the oven to melt into a wonderful mess.
Sweet & Savory Prosciutto, Fig, and Goat Cheese
Source: Renne Kemps
Fig makes another appearance here with savory prosciutto and earthy goat cheese. Goat cheese is quite underappreciated and this recipe is a great way to introduce goat cheese to people who can’t quite get used to the gamy flavor it has. Texture wise, it perfectly bring together soft, ripe figs (fig jam works too) and tender prosciutto, shaved very thin. The ingredients in this particular recipe may be higher end and more pricey, but still worth it and makes you feel like you’re engaging in fine dining, but right in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar, and Basil
Source: Non-stop Crazy
Strawberries meet balsamic vinegar in a clash of sweet and sour, but it works. Surprise your taste buds with a new kind of strawberry sensation, one that turns simplicity into complexity. Or even better, roast those strawberries to concentrate their flavor. Top with chopped basil for a picture perfect slice.
Apple, Brie, and Honey
Source: Peanut Butter & Pickles
Brie is everyone’s favorite cheese, is it not? Pair brie with tart apple and drizzle with honey for a perfect balance of sweet and tart, plus nutty and milky undertones from the brie. To enhance the flavor of the brie, consider warming up the brie first so that the insides get all gooey and soft, the way we like it. Sweet breads like challah or cinnamon raisin toast work well here.
Cream Cheese and Cucumber
Afternoon tea sandwiches don’t just have to be served in those tiny portions with tea. Size your toast up (then cut into finger-food sized triangles if serving at a party) and artfully arrange slices (lengthwise, circles, spirals, etc.) of fresh cucumber on the bed of cream cheese. Tip: Leave alternating rows of skin on the cucumber when peeling for an artsy effect.