Tart up your basic toast to show Mom love on Mother's Day
Apr. 20, 2016
For some reason, Mother's Day has become synonymous with breakfast in bed. Maybe it is because it is the easiest meal of the day and even folks who can't cook can make toast.
And that's not so bad. If the bread is good, there is nothing like toast with butter and jam. But with only a little extra work, you can make a more substantial toast that will wow you and your mother. My toast with smoked salmon and avocado mash is so good — and good for you — that you may find you will add it to your regular rotation.
Avocado toast is all the rage these days and I have always loved avocado and smoked salmon together. So this toast is really a mash-up of the popular avocado toast and the best flavors from Sunday's lox and bagels.
A more delicate and less salty smoked salmon subs for the lox and the avocado mash incorporates shallot and lemon, my two favorite garnishes for the fish. If you like capers with your smoked salmon, add capers to the mash. Same with a slice of tomato. If you like it, add it. The creamy mouth-feel of the avocado is the perfect base for the smoky cured fish.
The key to a great loaded toast like this is using the best possible ingredients you can find, beginning with the bread. I prefer a multi-grain loaf or a boule of sourdough that I can cut myself into a rustic slice. I slice it on the bias making it a tad longer than if I cut the loaf straight-on. The other secret is to toast the bread naked and let it sit in the toaster until it is cool enough that it won't steam up the plate or your toppings. This will ensure that it stays crunchy with every bite.
TOAST WITH SMOKED SALMON AND AVOCADO MASH
Start to finish: 10 minutes
1 ripe avocado
1/2 small shallot, grated with a wand-style grater
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 teaspoon of juice
Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
Ground black pepper
2 long slices whole-grain or sourdough bread
4 slices smoked salmon (enough to cover the 2 slices of bread)
Capers, chopped fresh chives or sliced tomato, to serve
Halve and pit the avocado, then slice each half into cubes within the skin. Use a spoon to scoop the avocado into a bowl. Add the shallot and the lemon zest and juice. Mix, mashing lightly but leaving some chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
Toast the bread and let sit in the toaster to cool for 3 minutes. Set each slice of bread on a serving plate and top with half of the avocado mixture and half of the salmon. Top with capers, chives or tomato slices, as desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 180 calories from fat (47 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 350 mg sodium; 30 g carbohydrate; 11 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 25 g protein.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Elizabeth Karmel is a barbecue and Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pitmaster at online retailer CarolinaCueToGo.com and author of three books, including "Taming the Flame."