Toast can be pretty posh

Forgive me if I seem to be doing a bit of shameless advertising for a cookbook that I worked on, but Posh Toast (Quadrille) is one of those hands-down must-rave-about books. We may all moan at the thought of a ‘toast’ cookbook, thinking it a bit boring or just plain old been-there-done-that, but oh how wrong we are. As this book shows (you really should get a copy) toast is brimming with possibilities. Here is a really simple idea, turned into something altogether new and ultimately original. I truly think I could live off the dishes in this book for a year and be perfectly happy and, dare I say, healthy.

While editing the book, it was just glorious recipe after glorious recipe. They were all so well conceived and really different yet most importantly, drool inducing. I think I almost fell off my seat when I read the one for avocado, tahini and spiced toasted chickpeas. I needed it right then and there and had to go and find a ripe avocado (in late winter) to satisfy my craving. Similar reactions were had to buttered leeks and parmesan pain perdu, the walnut brittle, roasted grapes and ricotta on sourdough and the sweet ones, too (including brioche toast, peaches and cream, stop it you say, I know, I know!). I haven’t put the book on the shelf yet since I got my copy because I’ve just been using it all the time so it has pride of place on my dining room table. Come to think of it I was actually tucking into a Posh Toast dish while reading the book and planning my next venture, crazy lady, yes indeed. But I mean, who doesn’t love carbs with tasty stuff on it? Don’t hate on the carbs people.

There are so many variations of what you might originally think of as ‘toast’. As it says on the tin (or the blurb on the back) ‘It’s everything good. On toast.’

12006463_10153060495721498_1956820922286674129_oAvocado, tahini & toasted spiced chickpeas

Serves 4

210g/8oz tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

few pinches allspice

2 tbsp unhulled tahini

1 tbsp lemon juice

4 slices seeded bread

2 ripe avocados, peeled, destoned and sliced

½ small red onion, finely chopped

few sprigs dill, roughly chopped (optional)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Pat the chickpeas dry and tip onto a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with ½ tbsp of the oil. Scatter over the spices and season with salt and pepper and toss. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden and crispy, giving them a shake halfway through.

Next, make the tahini dressing. In a bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, remaining oil, a little salt and 2–3 tbsp cold water, to make a dressing the consistency of thick cream.

Toast your bread. Add a spoonful of the dressing onto the toasts and spread. Top with the avocado slices, a little red onion and toasted chickpeas. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and scatter over the dill if using.

(Recipe from Posh Toast, Quadrille, 2015)