Here’s a very loose recipe — more like a set of guidelines — for making savory toasts. Perfect for a light supper, as part of a bigger meal with friends, or as lunch, a hearty toast (or open-faced sandwich) is incredibly versatile. Just keep in mind that contrasting textures and complementary flavors make the most interesting combinations.

Serves as many people as you like

  • Locally baked bread, sliced about 3/4-inch thick (any number of slices; large oblong slices can be cut in half)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Local cheese, brought to room temperature (about 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce per slice of bread, sliced or crumbled if necessary)
  • Freshly grated lemon or lime zest (a pinch per slice, optional)
  • Local vegetables (raw, grilled, roasted or pickled), sliced or chopped (1/4 to ½ cup per toast) or bruschetta topping (see below)
  • Fresh herbs, pea shoots, micro greens or baby greens
  • Local honey, vinaigrette, balsamic glaze, or other dressing (about ½ teaspoon per slice, optional)

Brush bread slices with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with kosher salt. If broiling, arrange the slices on a rimmed baking sheet and heat the oven broiler on high. If grilling, scrape the grill grates clean and heat a gas grill to medium.

Broil or grill the bread for 1 to 2 minutes on the first side, until browned around the edges and golden and crisp on top. Turn over with tongs and repeat on the other side.

Spread the warm toasts with cheese and sprinkle with a little citrus zest if you like (especially good with fromage or feta). Top with vegetables and greens. Drizzle with a very small amount of honey or dressing if you like and serve right away.


Tomato Peach Bruschetta Topping

  • 2 cups diced, cored ripe summer tomatoes (3 to 4 medium tomatoes; no need to skin or seed, just chop)
  • 1 cup diced pitted firm-ripe nectarines or peaches (about 1 large fruit)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 10 to 12 leaves basil (or basil and mint) sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • few drops balsamic vinegar
  • few drops honey
  • kosher salt

In a small mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, peaches or nectarines, garlic, ginger (if using), herbs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and about 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir well to combine and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will release a lot of juice. The topping is best used right away but can be made ahead and left at room temperature for a half hour or so. Try not to refrigerate it as this will affect the flavor and texture of the tomatoes. Spoon over warm toasted bread.

This recipe first appeared with this article