Avocado toast (that isn’t ridiculous)

Avocado toast sits on wooden plate, pale green scallops of avocado piled high on a lightly toasted slice of a multigrain boule.

I can hear the eyerolls all the way over here, echoing through the metaphorical tubes of the internet: “Avocado toast? You’re kidding, right?” And yes, I know, avocado toast is officially a Thing now, appearing everywhere from a recipe in Real Simple to the counter of your local cute hipster cafe to the pages of (heaven help me) Gwyneth Paltrow’s books. So why does the world need Yet Another Avocado Toast recipe?

Because most avocado toast recipes are ridiculous, that’s why.

Still life with bread and avocado: two halves of an avocado, one still with pit, lean against the cut edge of a multigrain boule, all in soft lighting

Hear me out, here, and I’ll explain where this is coming from. Although I’ve been known to eat avocado toast in the afternoon or evening (or, for that matter, while writing this, since my dinner stew is being slothful), I mostly eat it at breakfast. And by ‘breakfast’ I mean standing in the dim pre-dawn kitchen after staying up too late reading (or lesson planning, or watching The Great British Bake Off), when the coffee stubbornly refuses to make itself and I have murder in my eyes.

And most avocado toast recipes simply aren’t built for that environment. Their sins are many:

  • a long ingredient list, when I don’t know where I stashed the salt, much less a scallion (and I’d really like to taste the avocado, thank you, not its adjuncts)
  • using only half an avocado, leaving pre-coffee me staring at the other half wondering what one even does with half an avocado
  • finicky knife cuts (no.) and/or mashing the avocado directly on a slice of toast, which super-humans might be able to manage gracefully, but which for me at 6am results in a cross between a Pollock painting and my godson’s highchair on pesto spaghetti night

Avocado slivers have made a delicate fan on the spoon as they're scooped successively; the spoon with its avocado fan rests in a white bowl that already contains a pale yellow liquid: olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper

Which is all a very long way of saying that you need not another avocado toast recipe, but another avocado toast technique, one that miraculously comes up with a simple, perfectly seasoned, non-baby-smashed avocado salad in less time than it takes to toast the bread, and you can do it while undercaffeinated without cutting off a finger. (Probably.)

Avocado toast - now with sesame seeds! They're scattered over the top of the toast itself, and on the wooden plate belowAvocado toast: spicy edition. A close-up shot looking down a long slice of avocado toast, colored and flecked by bright red bits of spicy chili paste

Avocado toast (that isn't ridiculous)

  • Servings: 1-2 two slices toast (but they're both for you)
  • Print

I made this because I got tired of reading overwrought recipes for a dish that, really, couldn’t be simpler. No finicky knives, no ridiculous mashing, just pure unadulterated avocado. This is a common breakfast for me, and it both passes the pre-coffee test and is something I’m happy to eat any time of day. No bread in the house? You’ll get no judging from me: I can attest that saltines and Fritos are a most suitable accoutrement for a bowlful of lightly dressed avocado.


1 Hass avocado
1/2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp olive oil
Salt, just a pinch
Pepper, a few grinds

1 or 2 slices of your favorite bread


Start the bread toasting; this won’t be long.

Combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Halve and pit the avocado. (Let Martha show you how.) Then, with a soup spoon, scoop out thin wedges of the avocado, alternating angles in a sort of chevron pattern. (This photo shows the idea of the scooping pattern.) Drop the wedges in the bowl as you go, and when you’ve scooped out both halves of the avocado, toss a few times to combine.

Wait for your toast to finish — I told you — and then pile the dressed avocado on. Eat and ponder why the coffee isn’t making itself.


It’s hard to know where to begin, really — this is almost a blank (green) canvas — but here are a few ideas:

– A spoonful or two of your favorite salsa or hot sauce mixes in perfectly (and easily).

– Nuts and seeds! Chop or crush them a bit, unless they’re tiny like sesame seeds (which are a delight here)

– You know those cute flavored oils and vinegars you buy but never quite use? Sub them in. I had a version while writing this that involved lemon oil, pineapple balsamic vinegar, and sesame seeds. It was amazing, but took no more time or effort than the standard recipe — I might even make it again tomorrow morning.


2 responses to “Avocado toast (that isn’t ridiculous)

  1. I love this! I didn’t realize that avocado on toast was a “thing.” I always eat it with lemon and salt in a tortilla (because that’s how we do), but now I’m going to try the toast option. Crazy talk!

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