Step Aside Avocado, We’re Toasting to Local

If you’re lucky enough to have avocados growing in your backyard, this article isn’t for you. Or maybe it is. As much as we love the many trendy iterations of avocado toast (and ignore the naysayers that tell us the trend is over), we sometimes get tired of the same old thing. Since for many of us quarantine baking (hello, sourdough!) has created an abundance of bread to toast, we’re ready for something new. Why not use local, seasonal ingredients to give bougie avocado toast a run for its money? Try these toast toppers inspired by regional ingredients, they’ll bring fresh new life to your next slice.

Local Toasts
No hard and fast quantities here. Keep it loose, and be creative!

For NEW ENGLAND maple butter, apple, and bacon toast

  • Soften unsalted butter.
  • Drizzle maple syrup into softened butter. Mix well.
  • Spread maple butter on toast.
  • Top first with thinly sliced apples, then with cooked bacon.
For SOUTHWEST pumpkin seed, roasted chile, and tomato toast

  • Lightly toast pumpkin seeds in dry skillet.
  • Blacken chiles (Hatch or another mild green variety) on grill. Place in paper bag to steam. Peel, seed, and roughly chop.
  • Combine pumpkin seeds and roasted chiles in food processor with a little olive oil (almond or pecan oil are OK too). Purée until spreadable.
  • Spread on toast. Top with chopped fresh tomato.
For SOUTHERN field pea hummus, chard, and pecan toast

  • Cook field peas (or black-eyed peas) until soft. Drain.
  • Purée peas in food processor with pecan oil, a little water, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook chard until soft. Season with vinegar and salt.
  • Spread field pea hummus on toast. Top with chard and toasted pecans.
For NORTHWEST pesto, mushroom, and hazelnut toast

  • Purée equal parts fresh parsley and arugula leaves in food processor with a little garlic, olive oil, and salt.
  • Roast sliced mushrooms in a 375°F oven with oil and salt until browned.
  • Spread pesto on toast. Top with mushrooms and chopped, toasted hazelnuts.
For MIDWEST apple-maple butter, acorn squash, and black walnut toast

  • Mix apple butter with a little softened butter and maple syrup.
  • Roast squash in oven with a bit of oil and salt until softened and browned. Chop squash flesh.
  • Spread apple-maple butter on toast.
  • Top with squash, toasted, chopped black walnuts, and a sprinkle of coarse salt.
For CALIFORNIA eggplant, tomato, and anchovy toast

  • Peel eggplant and slice ½-inch thick. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Grill or roast at 375°F until soft and browned.
  • Chop tomatoes. Season with salt.
  • If using fresh anchovy fillets, marinate with lemon or lime juice, salt, and olive oil.
  • Lay eggplant on toast. Top with tomato and anchovy.