I haven’t been to England for a couple of years, but the last time I went I sure did notice a whole lot of things served on toast and eaten with a knife and fork: beans of course, Welsh rarebit (broiled mustard-spiked fondue) kippers, creamed chipped beef (more or less beef jerky simmered in cream gravy), mushrooms, deviled kidneys.
Not only is toast a blank canvas for your culinary imagination, it will taste like one if you don’t use any. Here are a few suggestions for livening up a humble slice of bread:
- Any kind of soft, cooked eggplant salad or spread — it adheres very well and benefits from the crisp texture of toast in every bite. Give it something extra to soak up with a little tzatziki.
- Update Welsh rarebit with our crunchy baked brie sauce.
- Recreate your favorite hors d’oeuvres in “big kid” size — you’d be amazed how satisfying it is to eat a large-format caviar and chopped hard-boiled egg, crab salad or tartare “canapé” on a nice thick slice of well-toasted brioche.
- Noun to verb time! “French onion souping”…any soup is as easy as floating a slice of half-toasted bread on an ovenproof crock of soup, covering with any cheese that strikes your fancy and broiling it. Bonus points for using this soup.
And you can get creative with bread — rosemary-olive, raisin, challah and rye are all good starting points. I used thinly sliced sourdough toast instead of noodles in lasagna once just to see what would happen. Weird, but most certainly delicious and texturally pleasing. Toast should definitely be on your list of “non-scary foods,” so please treat it as such.
More bread experiments for lunch on Food Republic: