50 Toasts

Think beyond butter: Here are dozens of ways to top your toast.

Photographs by Levi Brown

1. Cream Cheese–Veggie Puree 4 ounces cream cheese with 1 tablespoon each chopped dill, chives, tarragon and parsley in a food processor; season with salt and pepper. Spread on 4 slices toasted pumpernickel bread. Top with thinly sliced carrots, radishes, cucumbers and mushrooms.

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2. Asparagus Omelet Whisk 3 eggs with 1/4 cup chopped chervil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper; mix in 1 cup cooked thinly sliced asparagus. Cook in a buttered large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat, undisturbed, until the edges are set, 3 to 5 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F until cooked through, 3 more minutes. Fold in half and cut into strips. Butter 4 slices toasted pumpernickel bread; top with the omelet strips.

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3. Eggs Benedict Mix 1/2 stick softened butter with 1 tablespoon each olive oil, white wine vinegar, chopped capers and chopped tarragon; season with salt and pepper. Spread on 4 slices toasted white bread. Top with cooked Canadian bacon slices, chopped hard-boiled egg, chopped tarragon and scallions.

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4. Fava Bean–Mint Cook 1 cup shelled fava beans in salted boiling water, 2 minutes; drain and cool in ice water, then peel. Puree in a food processor with 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons chopped mint, 2 tablespoons grated pecorino and 2 teaspoons lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Spread on 4 slices toasted olive bread; top with more pecorino and mint.

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5. Spicy Avocado Mash 1 ripe avocado with 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and season with salt, pepper and chipotle hot sauce; spread on 4 slices toasted whole-wheat bread. Top with thinly sliced radishes, sliced scallions and alfalfa sprouts.

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6. Chipotle Mango-Avocado Mix 2 tablespoons mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons chopped chipotles in adobo sauce. Spread on 4 slices toasted sourdough bread. Top with chopped mango and avocado and thinly sliced red onion; drizzle with lime juice and season with salt and red pepper flakes.

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7. Crab-Avocado Toss 3/4 cup lump crabmeat (picked through) with a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon chopped chives. Mash 1 ripe avocado with 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and season with salt, pepper and chipotle hot sauce; spread on 4 slices toasted whole-wheat bread. Top with the crab salad and season with salt and pepper.

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8. Pesto-Avocado Spread 4 slices toasted white bread with pesto. Top with sliced avocado; drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Top with grated Parmesan, toasted pine nuts and torn basil.

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9. Scallion Pesto with Ricotta Cook 1 bunch chopped scallions in salted boiling water, 1 minute; drain and rinse under cold water. Puree in a food processor with 1/3 cup olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tablespoons each chopped parsley, grated Parmesan and toasted walnuts, and 1/4 teaspoon each red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Spread on 4 slices toasted sourdough bread; top with ricotta. Drizzle with olive oil and top with lemon zest and pepper.

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10. Spicy Pimiento Cheese Spread 4 slices toasted white bread with pimiento cheese spread. Top with chopped hard-boiled eggs and sliced pickled jalapenos and scallions; season with salt and pepper.