We have reached peak avocado on toast. Avocado has had its moment and, while I will always love it, the time has come for something else. This winter in LA (the same temperature as midsummer in the UK), I went to Kismet, a small restaurant on the city’s east side famed for its Californication of Middle Eastern food. The dish du jour? Broccoli toast. I was sceptical. Broccoli, I thought, lacks the requisite creaminess to be a good toast topping. I was wrong. Teamed with a tahini layer and some spice, it was all I could have asked for. Here is my version, plus five more toast toppings. Step aside, avocado.
Broccoli on toast (pictured above)
Good toast and leafy stemmed broccoli are key here, although standard (calabrese) broccoli will stand in if you slice it thinly enough. If you are using a grill rather than a griddle pan, be sure to turn the broccoli regularly: the result will be charred, crisped leaves that soften when they cool.
Prep 5 min
Cook 10 min
400g stem broccoli, purple sprouting or Tenderstem
4 tbsp thick Greek yoghurt
4 tbsp tahini
1 unwaxed lemon
Salt and black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices sourdough
100g sunflower seeds, toasted
1 tbsp za’atar
Boil a large pan of generously salted water, and blanch the broccoli for three to four minutes, until it has lost its rawness but still holds its shape. Drain and set aside.
Mix the yoghurt with the tahini, a good squeeze of lemon, some salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Taste, and balance with more lemon, salt and pepper as necessary.
Heat a griddle pan or grill to maximum and, once hot, char the broccoli on all sides, until the edges crisp. Once you are happy with the broccoli, take it off the heat, then char the toast on both sides using the same griddle or grill.
Spread the hot toast with a little olive oil and the tahini yoghurt, then top with the warm, charred broccoli, the toasted seeds and a good pinch of za’atar.
Five toast toppings for quick spring eating
Here are a further five toast toppings that just might supersede standard avo toast. None takes more than 10 minutes to make.
Radish, butter and mint
Mix a little butter with flaky salt and spread on toast as thickly as you dare. Top with sliced radishes, their leaves and some torn mint leaves.
Peas and preserved lemon
Mash or blitz cooked peas with olive oil, Turkish chilli pepper flakes (or dried red chilli) and the chopped rind of a preserved lemon. Top the toast with feta and then the pea mixture.
Avocado on toast, reinvented
Mash an avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, a teaspoon of red-wine vinegar, a teaspoon of grainy mustard and half a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, then stir in some chopped dill, season and pile on to toast.
Soft egg and Persian cucumber
Boil an egg for six and a half minutes, then cool under cold running water, peel and slice. Top the toast with egg, olive oil, slices of cucumber, chopped capers and cornichons, a few chopped soft herbs and some lemon zest.
Ricotta, strawberries and basil
Slice a spring onion, squeeze half a lemon over it, then set aside. Spread the toast with ricotta, then top with sliced strawberries, the lemony spring onion, basil leaves and lemon zest.
- Food styling: Anna Jones. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food assistant: Nena Foster
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010