If you’re anywhere close to being a Productive Member of Society (PMS), you’ve probably managed to miss an important piece of news: Toast is the latest artisanal craze. In an article titled “$4 Toast: Why the Tech Industry is Ruining San Francisco,” author Jolie O’Dell distills the problem: “We don’t go to the opera; we overspend on the simplest facets of life.” Why toast your own bread and slather it with jam and butter when you can have an under-showered young man or woman with tattoos do it for you? (Not a rhetorical question) Do it yourself. Do it for your loved ones. But in God’s name, don’t go out and pay creative types to make toast happen. Here’s a sprightly duo plucked directly from Mr. Alpenglow’s upper-level course, Advanced Techniques in Toast-Making. You too can make these with your own hands!
FAVA BEAN TOAST with MINT & PECORINO
(recipe from the Franny’s cookbook)
1 fat garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus a large pinch
1 cup peeled fresh fava beans
12 mint leaves, torn
4 tsp. grated pecorino
2 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
freshly crackled black pepper
1/8 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 inch think slices of good bread
Place the garlic in a mortar with a pinch of salt and pound together to break the garlic. Add the fava beans and mint and pound until the mixture is spreadable. Stir in the pecorino and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Brush the bread with olive oil and set them under the broiler until golden and crisp. Spoon the fava bean mixture onto the bread, drizzle with oil, and serve immediately.
CRAB TOAST with MEYER LEMON AIOLI
(based on a dish at ABC Kitchen)
1 cup of lumb crabmeat, picked
2 tbsp. chives, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 Meyer lemon, juice and zest
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 inch thick slices of good bread
Place the garlic in a mortar along with the salt and grind into a paste. Stir in the yolk, lemon juice, and zest. Then gradually add the olive oil as you whisk. In a separate bowl, combine the crab and chives along with a 1-2 spoons of the aioli until the crab is just coated; taste and adjust with the aioli, taking care not to overpower the crab. Brush the bread with olive oil and set them under the broiler until golden and crisp. Spoon the crab mixture onto the bread and serve immediately.