Toast always seems so humble. It's never the star of restaurant menus and is usually just the wing-man for eggs and omlettes or occasionally found as a bruschetta appetizer. But I adore it. I find it to be the perfect vehicle for all kinds of delicious ingredients. No utensils needed! Over the weekend, I decided to do a Toast Bar, complete with lots of sweet & savory options. Here's a few of our favorites along with very simple recipes and some easy tips.....
Toasted ciabatta, ricotta cheese, sauteed cremini mushrooms, fire-roasted red peppers, micro greens and salt & pepper.
My standard go-to breakfast of toasted sprouted grain bread, and Haas avocado, finished with a sprinkle of Maldon Flaked Sea Salt.
Grilled ciabatta, ricotta cheese, fresh blueberries, organic honey and mint.
Toasted sprouted grain bread, ricotta cheese, pearl tomatos, basil and salt & pepper.
Toasted ciabatta, grilled apricots, whipped cream cheese, organic honey and a light dusting of cinnamon. (Wish I remembered the roasted pistachios!)
Toasted sprouted grain bread, honey apple butter and sauteed cinnamon apples.
Nearly all of my ingredients were purchased at Trader Joes but they are readily available in any grocery store. Here's a few tips for making your own Toast Bar.
*Prep your ingredients beforehand and have them in bowls for easy access.
*Really good bread and fresh ingredients are key to great flavors.
*Pre-toast or grill your breads and keep warm on a rack in the oven. This will also help them to dry out a bit and stay crunchy.
*Have several sautee pans at the ready for sweet and savory items.
*Keep in mind it's best to have a "base" for the ingredients to adhere to. Some examples include cream cheese, ricotta cheese, marscapone, goat cheese, fruit jams or butters, chutneys and almond or peanut butter spreads.
*Remember to include options for your vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free guests. This is fairly easy with the wide variety of choices found in todays supermarkets.
*And don't forget lots of napkins...there will be messy fingers with no utensils. :)