Toast is a comfort that rarely lets you down. The smell of toast at home in the morning, or as it inexplicably wafts through the train on your morning commute awakens your taste buds; there’s always room in your belly for toast. It requires little effort and the worst thing that can happen is burnt toast, but often this is salvageable or there’s one more slice left to have another go. This post contains recipes for when you’re making a meal from your toast, but don’t neglect the solace of buttered toast or bread dipped in salt and olive oil when you’re feeling less inspired. If all you fancy is marmite, have that – its saltiness always provides what you need; eat Sunpat peanut butter spread thickly on thin toast and use up the jam that’s been in your fridge for longer than you remember.
Thinly slice one clove of garlic and half an onion or a couple of shallots. Sweat in oil in a saucepan until translucent and add a tin of tomatoes. Reduce to a low heat and add a generous shake of paprika and season. Dried Italian herbs work well with this if you don’t fancy paprika. Simmer for 15 minutes then add a drained tin of white beans (haricot are a Heinz traditional but we prefer the texture of cannellini). Butter your toast and add a few spoonfuls of beans on top. As with all meals, this is nicer with an extra drizzle of olive oil and some flaky salt on top.
Halve tomatoes (any size will do) and place cut side up in a small roasting tin. Drizzle olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, season and sprinkle dried herbs like oregano. Roast in a hot oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tomatoes are completely soft and the skins begin to peel away. For the feta, put as much feta as you fancy eating into a small bowl (or a big mug) and use a fork to begin mashing the feta. Add a small drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and begin whisking the feta with your fork. It’ll look like nothing’s going to happen at the start, but within a couple of minutes you’ll have a thick, spreadable feta. Spread this onto your toast and squash the roasted tomatoes on top.
The recipe for the cavolo nero (or similar greens) sauce is in a past post and can be found here. Top your buttered toast with some of the sauce and a tin of drained butter beans which have been fried in olive oil and za'atar on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes (until the skins start to break). A little feta or finely grated parmesan is great too.
You don’t need much squash for this, so it’s a good thing to make the day after you’ve made a more squash-centric meal and have some left over.
Mash roasted squash with 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and season well. Spread this onto toast and add a few chunks of blue cheese and place under a hot grill for a couple of minutes. In a small frying pan, heat a tablespoon of honey and coat a handful of walnut halves in the hot honey. Leave the pan on a low-medium heat for 2 minutes then add the walnuts straight onto the toast as you remove it from the grill. As with all squash, sage leaves fried in butter are a great addition.
Noone needs to be told how to make this, but it’s popular for a reason. We prefer to use a pestle and mortar to mash a soft avocado, juice of half a lime, a tablespoon of olive oil and flaky salt. Move the avocado into a separate bowl and use the same pestle and mortar to crush some black olives (stones removed) with a little olive oil. Spread the avocado onto buttered toast and add the smashed olives on top. Also good with crumbled feta.
Check out our toast toppers lino print.