The Toast of the Town
Growing up, toast was always a classic staple in my morning breakfast routine. It was inexpensive, it was quick to make, and my mom had grown up eating the same thing. But aside from giving it a buttery spread, toast had always been somewhat, plain and bland. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciated the simpleness of it all. It kept me full and did its job, but I’ve always thought of food as something one should experience. This is why when the big artisanal toast trend first started, I was eager to hop aboard.
With any change comes those who are for it and those who prefer things to remain the same. When it comes to taking chances with food, I think change is almost necessary. Toast is no longer just a staple of breakfast, with all the various topping combinations, it is quickly making its way onto lunch and dinner menus as well.
Eager to learn how I could step up my own toast game at home, I came across a book called Posh Toast by Emily Kydd. Emily is a UK food stylist, recipe writer and cook. Before she made a career in food, Emily trained as an artist then worked as a researcher and journalist for BBC. As someone who has always considered food as art in itself, I was eager to get in touch with Emily and find out what inspired her to grace the world with these delicious recipes.
Q: What inspired the idea for Posh Toast?
Emily Kydd: Well, who doesn’t love toast! The artisanal toast craze started in the San Francisco and quickly moved over to the UK, with most restaurants and cafes serving their take on it – avocado on toast definitely being the most common offering. Toast is simple and plain which makes it extremely versatile. A vehicle for so many different combinations of deliciousness. Et voilà Posh Toast was born. The recipes show that the humble slice can be elevated to the main event at any mealtime, with toppings covering every occasion, from dinner party fayre, canapes and breakfasts to suppers, lunches and snacks.
Q: Do you think artisanal toast is just a food phase or something that is here to stay?
EK: It’s certainly here to stay. It’s quick, substantial and I think most importantly it’s not complicated. The combinations are endless!
Q: Do you have a favorite recipe you’d like to share?
EK: It’s hard to pick a favorite from the book, but if I had to choose my top recipes are:
- Pistachio Dukkah & avocado on toast
- Bacon soldiers with soft boiled egg – super simple
- Huevos rancheros
- Whipped feta with beetroot & caraway
- Chicken and tarragon – classic French flavors
- Mini Croque Monsieur and Madame – these are great fun
- Brioche Toast with Peaches and Cream – just delicious
Q: What are some interesting and unique combos to put on toast?
EK: There are a few recipes in the book with more unusual toppings which I urge you to try, they really do work:
- Walnut brittle, roasted grapes and ricotta
- Pickled cucumber and hot smoked salmon
- Confit garlic
- Cheese fondue
- Turkish eggs on toast
- Whipped Gorgonzola with rocket and honey drizzle
- Gremolata and bone marrow
I was very curious to try the pickled cucumber and hot smoked salmon recipe, so I asked Emily if she could share one of her tasty recipes with us and she was kind enough to do so!
- 1/4 large cucumber, halved lengthways
- 5 radishes, very finely sliced
- 2 tsp caster (granulated) sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 140g/5oz full-fat cream cheese
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 6 slices rye bread, halved diagonally
- 2 fillets hot smoked salmon, skin removed
- 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 12 edible flowers, such as violas (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber into ribbons and place in a bowl.
- Stir in radishes, sugar, vinegar, a little salt and 3 tbsp water.
- Set aside to pickle for at least 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Beat cream cheese and mustard together in a separate bowl.
- Toast the bread slices and allow to cool slightly, then spread with cream cheese mixture.
- Drain pickled vegetables and divide evenly between toast slices.
- Add hot smoked salmon atop vegetables and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
- Top with an edible flower (optional).
- Admire your masterpiece and enjoy!
You would be amazed at all the different delicious recipes found in Posh Toast! Order it here and get to creating these toasty masterpieces at home.
And for those of you who don’t quite enjoy spending as much time in the kitchen as others, check out the list below of some local OC restaurants that serve tasty toasts.
Outpost Kitchen | Costa Mesa | 949.873.5123
My recommendation: The Three Amigos which includes avocado, poached egg on toast with coriander, pear jam on toast with dukkah and chocolate hazelnut schmear on toast with strawberries.
Le Pain Quotidien | Downtown LA | 213.293.1546
My recommendation: Avocado Toast which includes citrus-cumin salt, tomatoes, scallions, chia seeds, and extra virgin olive oil.
Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink | Laguna Beach | 949.494.8686
My recommendation: Mushroom Toast which includes pancette, cheese, herb and bitter greens