Here is a tasty selection of my 12 favourite ‘things on toast’: perfect for a tasty breakfast, speedy lunch or light supper, too.
- Smashed Minty Peas and Prosciutto
- Olive tapenade, Cherry tomatoes and Feta with Mixed Seeds
- Oven Roasted Pepper Strips, with Goats’ Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts
- Poached Trout, Cucumber, Avocado, Radish and Chives
- Quick Baked Beans on Toast
- Mashed Eggs and Asparagus
- Soft Goats’ Cheese, Sliced Pears, Walnuts and Honey
- Homemade Pesto with Shredded Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes
- Smoked Salmon and Avocado Tartare with Rocket
- Green Chilli and Coriander Salsa with Prawns
- Herrings, Pickled Shallot, radish, Cucumber, Capers and Dill
- Poached Egg on Greens with Smoked Chilli Flakes
Choosing your toast
I have eaten gluten-free for a number of years now, so I tend to reach for a good gluten-free bread to make these toasts. My personal favourites are made by Biona (either their millet or buckwheat options are delicious) which you can now buy from most major supermarkets, or a loaf from Good Grain Bakery and Food For Life. The only caveat is that you really do need to toast it well first.
Alternatively, I might make a quick gluten-free loaf myself (which I then allow to cool completely, slice, and freeze ready for more toasting at a later date); these are often simpler and quicker to make than normal bread, as they do not need kneading. Why not try my fragrant Carrot & Carroway Loaf, or my shocking pink Beetroot & Walnut Soda Bread?
If you are not gluten-free, then the best option might be a good, organic sourdough (even better if you can find a rye, spelt or brown version). These tend to have a lower glycaemic index than normal bread, and the fermentation process can increase the amount of minerals you are able to absorb from the bread. Plus, it makes fantastic toast!
The recipes I have given for things like pesto, smashed peas or black olive tapenade, will make more than is needed for one piece of toast, but they are great to have in the fridge ready to use for other dishes, more toasts, omelettes, salads, dips, etc.. Having big, bold flavours like these ready-to-go makes it easier for me to be able to create delicious meals in minutes.
1. Smashed Minty Peas and Prosciutto
- 2 cups (240g) frozen petit pois or peas
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- splash of extra virgin olive oil
- a few slices of prosciutto or Parma ham
Bring your peas or petit pois to the boil for 1 minute, then drain and tip into a bowl, then mash the peas together with the remaining ingredients (except the prosciutto) and season to taste.
Spread generously onto your toasts, and serve with a few slices of prosciutto on top.
2. Olive tapenade, Cherry tomatoes and Feta with Mixed Seeds
For the tapenade:
- 150g pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 small clove garlic
- zest of half a lemon
- 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
- 3 anchovy fillets – optional
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
- a few cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp diced feta
- 2 tsp mixed seeds
In a small food processer (or large pestle and mortar), combine all the tapenade ingredients together until smooth and pour a thin layer of olive oil across the top (this will keep for 7 days in the fridge if you pop it into an airtight container). To make up the toasts, spread a layer of olive tapenade over your toast, top with the diced feta, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of mixed seeds.
3. Oven Roasted Pepper Strips, with Goats’ Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 orange pepper, sliced into strips
- a drizzle of light olive or coconut oil
- 2-3 slices of goats’ cheese
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Pre-heat the oven to 220/200fan, toss the pepper strips in the oil and scatter onto a baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes, or until soft. If you are toasting your own pine-nuts, place them in the same oven for 4-6 minutes until golden, keep a close eye on the, as they turn quickly. To assemble, tumble your roasted pepper strips onto the toast, add a few slices of goats’ cheese and put it all under a hot grill for a minute. Before serving, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and add a generous grind of black pepper.
4. Poached Trout, Cucumber, Avocado, Radish and Chives
I use smoked trout for this recipe when I can find it, but do check the packaging as some may have added sugar. If you can’t find trout, you could always substitute it for a small fillet of salmon or even mackerel. Oily fish like these are full of healthy and essential omega-3 fatty acids: we should ideally be aiming to have at least one portion a week. For more information, take a look at my blog article on Oily Fish.
- 1 fillet of trout
- 1/4 avocado, roughly chopped
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 3 radishes, finely sliced
- 6 slices of cucumber
- 1 tsp chopped chives
If you are poaching your own fillet (rather than using a ready-cooked or smoked one), place it in a frying pan, just large enough for the fillet to lay flat – cover the fish with cold water and bring it to the boil. Once boiling, immediately turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes (between 1-6 depending on the thickness of your fillet). It is done when it is just opaque all the way through. Lift out gently and allow to cool. When you are ready to serve, mash the avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt, spread this onto you toast, topped with the radish, cucumber, flakes of trout and finally a sprinkle of chives.
5. Quick Baked Beans on Toast
Who doesn’t love the hearty comfort of a pile of warming baked beans on a crunchy slice of toast? It’s pure, nostalgic comfort food. You could also use this recipe for baked beans inside a steaming baked potato, alongside a pile of steamed greens for a simple supper. I often make a big batch and freeze the leftovers in portions, too. This recipe makes enough for 2 generous portions of beans.
- 1 tbsp coconut or light olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or crushed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tin cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp coconut amino (or soy sauce)
- salt and pepper
Sauté the onion, garlic and thyme for 3-4 minutes until soft in the oil. Stir in the paprika and cayenne for 30 secs, before adding the drained beans, tomatoes and coconut amino. Cook gently for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until thickened, then season to taste. Tumble on top of toast just before eating.
6. Mashed Eggs and Asparagus
During those few short weeks of the asparagus season, I absolutely love to eat the juicy little stems like this. If you can’t get hold of any locally-grown asparagus, you could always substitute them for some tender stem or purple-sprouting broccoli. For more tasty asparagus recipes, take a look at my #EatInSeason blog post.
- Small bunch of slim asparagus tips
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Place the eggs in a small pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Set a timer for 6 minutes. Whilst the eggs are cooking, drop the asparagus tips into the same pan for 1-2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water. Set aside until ready to put on toast. When the 6 minutes are up, remove the eggs from the saucepan and run them under cold water. Peel, roughly chop then mash them with the back of a fork, adding a pinch of salt and a bit of olive oil just to get it combined. To serve, spread your mashed egg mixture over the toast, and drape over your cooked asparagus. Simply perfect.
7. Soft Goats’ Cheese, Sliced Pears, Walnuts and Honey
You will need a super-ripe pear and a mild goats’ cheese to get the most out of this recipe.
- 3 slices of goats’ cheese
- ½ small pear, sliced
- a small handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp honey (optional)
Slice your pear into circles (the core is often soft and therefore edible in many pears), and arrange these onto the toast. Top with some thin slices of goats’ cheese, and add a sprinkle of roughly chopped walnuts. Drizzle with honey if you fancy before eating.
8. Homemade Pesto with Shredded Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 chicken breast
For the pesto:
- 100g basil (large bag)
- 1 small clove garlic
- 20g pine nuts
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- a few cherry toms, halved
- freshly ground black pepper
To poach the chicken breast, place in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until cooked. In a small food processer (or large pestle and mortar), combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and lemon juice together and pulse until smooth. This will make more than enough pesto, so you can refrigerate any leftovers with a thin layer of olive oil across the top, in an airtight container (it will last for 7 days). To assemble, spread generous layer of pesto onto your toast, and shred about half of the chicken breast on top. Add a few halved cherry tomatoes and a grind of black pepper.
9. Smoked Salmon and Avocado Tartare with Rocket
This is a bit of a show-stopper (although it is also incredibly simple) – it makes a wonderful brunch or special breakfast.
- 1/4 avocado
- 2 slices of smoked salmon
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- handful of rocket
Dice the avocado as finely as you can, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cut, chop or tear the salmon into thin strips and combine it with the avocado, then season to taste (you probably won’t need much salt and the salmon is often salty enough). Place the rocket on the toast first then tumble your tartare in top.
10. Green Chilli and Coriander Salsa with Prawns
For the salsa:
- 40g coriander
- 1 small green chilli, deseeded
- 15g ginger
- 40g cashew nuts
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cooked prawns, per slice of toast
In a small food processor, or large pestle and mortar, combine the salsa ingredients together until smooth, adding 1-2 tbsp of water to get it going if needed. Refrigerate any leftovers with a thin layer of olive oil across the top, in an airtight container (it will last for 7 days). Serve slathered onto your toast, with a handful of prawns and a few coriander leaves for garnish.
11. Herrings, Pickled Shallot, radish, Cucumber, Capers and Dill
I know that herrings are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I do love them from time to time. This is a refreshing and light way to enjoy this typically Scandinavian delicacy.
- ½ a shallot
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 pieces of pickled herring
- 6 thin slices of cucumber
- 3 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp capers
- a few sprigs dill
Cut the shallot in half, and finely slice. Toss the slices into a small dish, and mix it with the lemon juice. Allow it to stand for a couple of minutes – this will help the shallot to soften. Assemble the sliced cucumbers and radishes on your toast, then top with herring, shallots, capers and dill before enjoying right away.
12. Poached Egg on Greens with Smoked Chilli Flakes
- 1 egg (try to get the freshest you can find – it will poach better)
- a handful of greens – try spinach, swiss chard, kale or whatever is in your fridge
- a generous pinch of smoked chilli flakes (or regular chilli flakes)
To poach the egg: in a non-stick saucepan, add 4cm of water and a splash of cider vinegar. Bring to just under boiling point. Crack your egg into a small dish, then, using a spoon, make a swirl in the water and slip the egg into the eye of the swirl. Cook at a gentle simmer for 2 ½ minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, drain and serve.
To serve: Steam your greens for a few minutes until soft, and then squeeze out any excess water. Pile onto your toast, top with your perfectly poached egg and add a pinch of smoked chilli flakes before enjoying.