My particular kitchen vibe is best described as “assembling ingredients.” Rarely does what I do cross over into “cooking” territory. I argue, however, that what I do requires a different set of skills than cooking. In order to assemble ingredients in a satisfying way, one has to have a taste for what ingredients will go well together. Usually, I steal from restaurants. This situation is no exception.
Bruschetta on my mind
In the neighborhood we lived in before our current one, there was a wine bar that had an amazing assortment of bruschetta. I fell in love instantly. What is bruschetta but a fancy Italian name for toast? The trick of bruschetta is the same as the trick of avocado toast: use quality ingredients and don’t try to dress ‘em up. One of my favorite bruschettas at this wine bar was just roasted red peppers and goat cheese. So simple and yet so delicious.
The best toasts have just two or three ingredients, and I always start with Aunt Millie’s bread.
When I want toast for lunch, I sometimes return in my mind to that wine bar in my old neighborhood and put goat cheese and roasted red peppers on it.
I’m sure one can roast one’s own red peppers, but I of course buy them in a jar already roasted and ready for my toast. They aren’t the most appetizing-looking things on their own, but once they get to the toast, they become more attractive. I buy my goat cheese in a log, and it doesn’t want to spread on the toast.
Luckily, the toast is hot so the goat cheese has no choice. Soon, it softens and spreads just like the cream cheese on my smoked salmon toast.
And also like that smoked salmon and cream cheese toast, this roasted red pepper and goat cheese toast is an ideal lunch for a work day. It takes just minutes to assemble, but it’s also satisfying and delicious. It pairs nicely with the other staples of my lunchtime routine: kombucha and kale salad.
Katie Pruitt is not a chef or even a home cook. She is a writer with a lifelong passion for toast. Although she grew up just a couple miles from the Aunt Millie's bakery in Fort Wayne, she now has loaves of Aunt Millie's bread flown to her in San Francisco on a regular basis.