Toast is like the hottest thing since…well, you get the point. Greg Vernick, the chef-owner of Vernick Food & Drink in Philadelphia agrees and serves seven of them topped with everything from fried green tomatoes and Maryland crab to beef tartare. But his all-time favorite is this rich, spring/summer favorite that plays around with peas and bacon (two things that most certainly go well together).
Before moving to Philly, Vernick worked with Ken Oringer in Boston and at Jean-Georges in NYC. Now he runs his namesake near Rittenhouse Square. “Toasts are a blank canvas,” says the chef. We couldn’t agree more. Toast artistry is the new sandwich artistry. Or something like that.
- 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed (reserve 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons Philadelphia cream cheese
- 10 fresh mint leaves, picked from stem
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper, to your liking
- 3 - 5 thick slices of sourdough bread (approximately 1/2-inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper for toasting
- 12 slices bacon
- 10 fresh mint leaves, sliced thick
For the pea butter:
- Combine in blender of food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
For the toast:
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Drizzle sliced bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Toast until crispy on both sides but still moist in the center, about 2 minutes on each side.
- While the bread is still warm, spread on generous amounts of pea butter covering the entire surface of the bread.
- Top the bread with remaining peas and layer the sliced bacon over the entire toast.
- Place back in the oven and toast until the bacon begins to render.
- Remove from toaster, sprinkle with fresh mint and cut into thirds.
Find more toast recipes on Food Republic: