Getty / Juj Winn
Avocado toast has been seriously ubiquitous for a long time now, and I'm pretty sure that no one needs any more variations on how to make it delicious. But if you are in need of a break from AT, or, like me, don't love avocado, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have your own fancy toast to get excited about. And since we are heading into summer, I thought it was high time that we talk about tomato toast.
Traditional Tomato Toasts
The pairing of tomatoes and bread is nothing new. The Spanish have been serving pan con tomate, a grilled piece of toast lavished with olive oil, swiped with a cut clove of garlic and topped with grated fresh tomato, as a tapas dish forever. The French make pain aux tomates, embedding whole or halved confit tomatoes in a yeasted bread, and no one needs to begin the conversation about pizza both domestically and abroad. Shakshuka, that dish of spicy tomato sauce with eggs baked in it, is as much about the bread you dunk in it as the sauce itself.
The World's Easiest Tomato Toast
Obviously, any and all of these are absolutely fantastic any time of day including breakfast, but that is not the toast I am recommending here. The thing about avocado toast is that it is simple. Make toast, smush avocado, season, and eat. I don't need to start my weekday morning with a cooking project. Tomatoes in season are a thing of beauty, but they are also super juicy when raw, and I don't know about you, but soggy toast makes me sad. The secret here is to make a batch of fast tomato toast topper on the weekend, and then dole it out to myself straight from the fridge all week long.
How to Make Tomato Toast
Essentially, by draining and then cooking your tomatoes just enough to drive off the water, you end up with a tomato smoosh that can go on your toast without making it sodden. Here's all you do:
1. Slice tomatoes in half, then grate the cut sides on the large side of a box grater until all you have left is the skin.
2. Sprinkle grated tomato with a pinch of salt (plus a pinch of sugar if your tomatoes aren't particularly ripe and a little lemon or lime zest if you are feeling perky) and put the seasoned grated tomatoes in a colander over a bowl. Let drain for an hour at room temp. (You can drink the tomato water or save for a vinaigrette or soup.)
3. Put the drained tomatoes in a skillet and cook over medium high heat for just a few minutes to release the last of the water. Don't cook too much, or you will lose the fresh flavor.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning, just remember this is for your tomato toast and not a topper for pasta.
5. Let cool to room temp, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Assemble tomato toast
1. Toast the bread of your choice (I like a hearty country style or sourdough).
2. Butter the toast while hot, then add as much tomato topping as you like. I tend to keep it simple, but feel free to add some crumbles of cheese, a poached or fried egg, or a thin slice of prosciutto. Voila!
Note: The butter is the key to my tomato toast. Sure, olive oil is delish, but buttered toast is breakfast to me, and butter and tomato are great pals. Want a bit of a bonus breakfast surprise? Top with some chopped fresh mint. Trust me.