Creamy, flavorful avocados are one of our favorite foods, and Adam and I have had actual debates over whether we would prefer to live in a post-zombie apocalypse world, or a world without avocados (I chose the zombie apocalypse, which gives you a sense of how serious I am about this pretty green fruit). My father first prepared this for us as a quick and easy appetizer prior to a dinner party we hosted while he was visiting us in Montana last fall. Avocado toast is not new to us or (at this point, I’m confident we’ve prepared avocados in nearly every possible form) but the simplicity, deliciousness, and ease of this version has seen us making it over and over again, although it is now known as Avocado Toast à la Mike. Avocados. Avocados are a fruit (technically, a berry) that is simply packed with nutrients that play a major role in a healthy diet. Avocados are incredibly fattening- but with mono-unsaturated fat, which are high in Vitamin E and reduce bad cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and helps your body absorb the other nutrients of the foods you enjoy with it. The fruit is full of magnesium and potassium (almost twice as much as a banana!), which assist in regulating blood pressure, and fiber, which aids in digestion and helps you feel full. Avocados contain four full grams of protein, which is high for a fruit. It even has the ability to lessen the inflammatory properties of other foods eaten with the avocado- a 2012 University of California study found that eating a half an avocado on a hamburger patty resulted in significantly less vasoconstriction (inflammation and narrowing blood vessels commonly associated with meat consumption) than a burger alone- despite the additional fat and calories from the avocado. The study wrote, “These observations are suggestive of beneficial anti-inflammatory and vascular health effects of ingesting added Hass avocado.” Also, they taste amazing. Like an egg, I use avocados as a topping wherever it seems even remotely appropriate. On salads, with roasted vegetables, blended into a dip for veggies or crackers, thinned into salad dressing, in pasta (when we indulge), and, of course, on toast. While the garlic in this version of avocado toast makes it better suited to lunch or a light dinner (or appetizer, if using smaller slices of baguette) for most people, I am not above eating it for breakfast if I feel so inclined. As a friend recently reminded me, “Garlic belongs at every meal!”
Green Garlic Avocado Toast
1/2 Hass avocado
1 half-inch sliced French bread
1 clove garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
Red pepper flakes
To make one sandwich/1 serving:
Toast the sliced French Bread until crispy. Using one half of the garlic glove, rub the cut side along the toasted bread until entire slice is covered. Spread one half of the avocado on the garlic-scented toast, and sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
A note about the bread: you really want to use a high-quality, extra-crusty-on-the-outside and extra-soft-on-the-inside French bread for this. There is a time and a place for a dense, grainy, seedy, whole grain bread. This is not it. For a slice of toast that serves as a meal (breakfast or lunch), I prefer a boule or bâtard, both of which are decently sized and with the right consistency. To serve as an appetizer or accompaniment to a meal, regular baguette works just fine.