Over the past year throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, most people spent significantly more time at home than ever before.
With that, I found that many of us began to take on new hobbies and activities that had not previously been a part of our regular routines. Among them have been everything from art projects and construction of raised garden beds to in-house exercise regimens and experiments with new recipes. Our family recently just acquired three baby chicks, a new venture for us.
One of the most popular new trends that I probably heard about more than anything else was the large number of new homemade bread makers that emerged, particularly with regard to the sourdough craze.
Admittedly I’ve never been much of a baker. I absolutely love to cook, but when it comes to pies, cakes, cookies, and yes, making my own bread, I’ve never had a high level of enthusiasm for the process despite the fact that I enjoy eating all of the above.
Thankfully, our local farmers’ markets have some excellent local wheat growers that produce an incredible array of breads that I’ve been enjoying for years — notably Creekside Apple Ranch, Piedrasassi Wine and Bread, and Roan Mills.
This week I sourced a beautiful loaf of Roan Mills “Glenn County Batard” produced from its Glenn wheat berries, delivering the perfect balance of a crisp exterior, soft yet slightly dense center, and pleasing sour notes throughout.
I find this very versatile loaf ideal for everything from slicing as a sandwich bread, cutting into smaller pieces to make little crostinis. It’s also ideal to enjoy with a seasonal soup or stew.
Throughout the week I used this loaf to serve my family various forms of avocado toast, one of our morning favorites. You can easily keep it simple and simply spread a toasted bread round with avocado and a little seasoning, or add an array of toppings.
Lately, incorporating some sliced boiled egg, fresh tomato and crispy sprouts has been one of my favorites as a complete meal. As long as you have the base of some incredible bread and good avocado, you really can’t go wrong.
Farmers’ Market Avocado Toast
2, quarter-inch thick center cut sliced rounds of Roan Mills “Glenn County Batard” bread
1 large ripe avocado
Pinch of salt and pepper
Juice from 1 lemon wedge
1 medium tomato, sliced into rounds
1 radish, cut into very thin rounds
1/4 cup fresh sprouts (I like onion sprouts for this preparation)
Good quality aged balsamic vinegar
Bring a pot of water to a boil and gently place eggs inside. (You can also simply poach the eggs.) Cook for about 8 minutes, and immediately place in an ice water bath to halt the cooking process.
Once cool enough to handle, cut eggs into rounds and set aside.
Drizzle your bread rounds with a little bit of olive oil and start to toast.
In a small bowl, mash avocado and season with salt and pepper, then mix in a little lemon juice, which helps preserve the color and add nice subtle tangy notes. Spread an equal amount of the avocado mixture over each toasted bread round.
Then top with tomatoes, sliced egg, radish, and sprouts. Finish with a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar.
Yield: Serves 2.