Giada De Laurentiis's Avocado Toast Comes With A Caprese Twist

Avocado toast is a simple meal at heart, but there are enough twists on this creamy, crunchy creation to fill a whole book (or several). Maybe you're down to try a topping of silky prosciutto, elegant smoked salmon, or even eggs poached in maple syrup, but for a veggie-heavy version that's just as satisfying, look to pro chef Giada De Laurentiis. The Food Network star puts her signature Italian spin on avocado toast by borrowing from caprese salad.

A simple caprese salad recipe consists of fresh tomatoes, fragrant basil, and milky mozzarella, with a glug of good extra virgin olive oil over top. Adding these ingredients on top of avocado toast makes it juicy, sweet, tangy, herbal, and rich all at once, with a charming color scheme of red, white, and green, like the shades of the Italian flag. This fusion dish combines two classics, yet it feels enticingly new. 

While caprese avocado toast also makes an ideal light lunch or snack any time of day, De Laurentiis enhances her recipe with a special presentation. It takes some finesse and a few extra minutes, but will elevate your toast from ho-hum to a truly impressive brunch centerpiece.

Giada De Laurentiis adds tomato and mozzarella to an avocado rose

For a special brunch, avocado toast needs both a pretty presentation and a delicious taste. Giada De Laurentiis' version delivers on visual appeal by slicing and arranging the avocado into a rose shape. In a TikTok video, the chef and television personality demonstrates that it's actually not that difficult to make avocado roses. All you need is a sharp knife and some patience.


#avocadorose caprese style! #howto #summerproject #tiktoktaughtme

♬ Summer Days – Wayne Garrett

To finish her dish, De Laurentiis nestles a cherry tomato and a piece of mozzarella into the center of the "rose." Whiles she goes all-out with a pleasing presentation, the dish can be assembled in different ways to create a stronger caprese flavor and varying textures (and you'll save some time, too). Try thinly and elegantly slicing the avocado, but lay it flat on the toast. Top with neatly-sliced heirloom tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, plenty of fresh basil, and olive oil. You lose the fancy rose shape, but gain more surface area for the toppings.

Alternatively, mash the avocado and top with sweet oven-roasted tomatoes and torn pieces of mozzarella for a more rustic finish.  And while mozzarella is definitely one of the best cheeses to give avocado toast a creamy boost, you could switch things up with burrata or mascarpone for extra-silky results. Runny burrata on your toast might require a knife and fork, but that just adds elegance to what is usually a finger food.

More ways to elevate brunch classics with a caprese spin

If you're a fan of caprese and would like to incorporate the flavors into other dishes, you have tons of options. For instance, try spreading a split croissant with pesto and stuffing it with mozzarella and fresh or sun-dried tomatoes. Brush it with oil and bake until crisp and oozing for the Italian-inspired breakfast sandwich of your dreams. 

You can also take another leaf out of Giada De Laurentiis' book by making a caprese-inspired frittata. Just add sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and diced mozzarella to a basic egg and dairy mixture. Cook it in an oven-safe pan on the stove, then move the pan under the broiler and bake until just set. You could add prosciutto if you're craving a little saltiness. For another egg-based dish, try baking eggs in tomato sauce dotted with bocconcini (small balls of mozzarella) and scattered with basil.

To go beyond the realm of breakfast and brunch, bake portobello mushrooms for around 10 minutes, then stuff with mozzarella pearls, halved cherry tomatoes, and shredded basil leaves and bake again to finish. You'll have a satisfying meat-free side dish, or even a light lunch. While a classic caprese salad is already perfect to begin with, using the tri-colored combination to spice up other dishes is a quick path to delicious results.