Avocado toast may be basic in many iterations of the word, but the trendy snack does require a bit of skill. We’re not talking about employing a chiffonade knife technique or similar, but don’t skimp on ingredients.

Avocado toast: How to make a classic the *right* way

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 1

The ingredients

  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 slice whole-grain bread, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 small lemon
  • Pickled red onions
  • Micro cilantro
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Red pepper flakes

The gear

  • a jar or container for pickling the onions
  • a medium stockpot
  • a toaster
  • avocado slicers
  • silicone egg rings
  • lemon squeezers
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Sure, it’s easy to slap half an avocado onto a slab of toast, finish it off with a grinding of salt and pepper, and call it a day. But what’s fun, exciting, or memorable about that? It’s not even that Instagrammable. And, pray tell, what even is the point if breakfast won’t make it to the feed?

So, for anyone who’s looking to upgrade the classic toast with a bit of pizzazz, fresh ingredients are the way to go.

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Davide Luciano

Wanna avo go? This is a flavorsome take on avocado toast that’s just complex enough to get kudos from everyone at the table without being so complex that it’s… well, complex.

  1. First, make the pickled red onions. Add the red onions to a large glass bowl, then set aside.
  2. In a medium stockpot, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, water, bay leaf, cilantro, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and garlic. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and pour over the red onions. Let sit until the liquid reaches room temperature.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  4. Mash the avocado slices onto the toast. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with salt. Top with pickled red onions, micro cilantro, flaky sea salt, and red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve.

This recipe brings in the classics: avocado, whole-grain toast, red pepper flakes, lemon juice. But you can also try throwing a tangle of pickled red onions on top for a bit of a tart bite, as well as a poached egg for that absolutely essential #YolkPorn.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, try shaking some za’atar on top for some Mediterranean flair or tossing smoked salmon and capers together for a DIY bagel sandwich (minus the bagel).

There are three main tips that take your avocado toast to the next level:

  • You’ll want to use perfectly ripe avocados for your toast.
  • If there are any brown spots, cut them out.
  • Salt and acid are key when making avocado toast. Whether you mash the avocados or slice them, make sure you season them as you go.

Avocados seem like the ultimate Goldilocks fruit — sometimes, it feels like you’re either eating a green potato or a bowl of brown mush. But there’s a way to spot the perfect avo at your local grocery store.

  • Check the skin. Ripe avocado skin is dark green, brown, or purple. Be sure to avoid any that have deep scratches on the surface. The scratches can expose the fruit inside to oxygen and browning.
  • Give it a light squeeze. The flesh of a ripe avocado will give a little to the touch. However, make sure your thumbprint doesn’t stick around for too long. That’s a sure sign of an overripe avo.
  • The stem trick. When you’re about to eat the avocado, pop the stem off for a sneak preview of the flesh underneath. If the avocado is ripe, the flesh will be green. Overripe, and it’ll be brown.

If your avocado is mostly ripe with a few browning parts, just cut off the brown bits before you smoosh it into your toast.

Avocado toast is a simple pleasure, but adding pickled red onions adds a real bite. It can be easy without being simply easy, you know? A poached egg and plenty of seasoning take this beyond your standard avocado toast.

Make sure you use ripe avocado for the recipe. You can check whether an avo is ripe using the skin, squishiness, or stem of the fruit.

Otherwise, breakfast is served.