It’s official. Avocado toast has surpassed kale as the most cliched dish of all time.
In a very Massimo Bottura-esq moment I’ve named this dish Not Another Avocado Toast. That is to say, it doesn’t use Haas, it uses squash! (Does this count as an off-rhyme?)
Throughout the summer months, especially heading into August, there is a plethora of a squashes in a myriad of varieties (totally aced my 5th grade vocab quiz). In this recipe, avocado squash is roasted until it is as tender and creamy as a perfectly ripe Haas. Paired with bright and herbaceous lime basil pesto, briney feta cheese and smoky shishitos, this toast is uber tasty and highlights some of summer’s best produce.
In fact, I’m thinking the Mexican cartels are going to have to find a new vegetable to extort. Last I heard, kale was available.
Not Another Avocado Toast
(Avocado Squash Toast with Feta, Lime Basil Pesto & Blistered Shishitos)
- 2 avocado squash, halved lengthwise
- 3 sprigs thyme, picked
- 3 cloves garlic, skin-in & crushed
- 1/3c lime basil pesto (see recipe below)
- 1/2c feta, whipped with a bit of olive oil or mashed with a fork to make spreading easier
- 8 shishito peppers
- 4 slices miche, levain or other country-style bread
- 3T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4c grapeseed or canola oil
- kosher salt
- maldon salt
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300F and line a sheet tray with tin foil. Place the avocado squash halves onto the lined tray and rub with 3T olive oil, thyme and garlic cloves. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper on all sides. Roast cut-side up for 2 hours and 15 minutes or until the squashes are completely tender all the way through. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Roughly chop the squash and place in a bowl. Drain any liquid that the may have accumulated from the squashes and keep at room temp until ready to use.
- Heat grapeseed oil in a saute pan on high heat. Once oil is really, really hot but not smoking, carefully add your shishitos. Turn the shishitos quickly in the oil, blistering them on all sides. Remove the peppers from the oil and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with maldon salt.
- Lightly drizzle the slices of bread with olive oil and toast. Once the bread is toasted, immediately rub a cut clove of garlic into the bread. Spread feta evenly onto each toast. Generously spoon on the avocado squash, followed by a drizzle of lime basil pesto all over. Cut each toast in half. Garnish each half with a shishito pepper and serve.
Lime Basil Pesto
- 1/2 bunch lime basil, picked & chopped
- 1/2 bunch regular basil, pick & chopped
- 1/2 small shallot, small dice
- 1/4c walnuts, toasted & chopped
- 1/4c grated parmesan
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2t kosher salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound together red onion and salt. Add in the basil and continue to pound until a paste forms. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Pound in the walnuts and parmesan until your desired consistency is reached; stir in lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Transfer the pesto to a bowl and keep tightly covered with a layer of plastic on top of the pesto to prevent oxidizing until ready to serve. Use within 2 days.