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Tasty Vegan Toast Recipes with Julia Turshen

by Grace Bonney

A year or two ago, it felt like people in America suddenly sat and yelled, “TOAST!”. From San Francisco coffee shops and Miami cafes to high-end New York restaurants, menus started to proudly carry various recipes that showcased humble slices of bread. I first noticed the toast craze two summers ago when I was visiting Trouble Coffee in San Francisco. They were touting a massive slice of toasted bread slathered in butter and topped with cinnamon sugar (Nothing wrong there). I’m not above a delicious buttery piece of bread so I happily indulged and then was happy to see delicious toasts pop up on Dan Kluger’s menu at ABC Kitchen in Manhattan. Rather than breakfast, Dan was offering deliciously fresh and citrusy crab salad on top of toast, finished with tiny dollops of lemon aioli. From simple to sophisticated, it’s hard to get past the nostalgic and simple pleasure of a warm piece of toast. So today we’re sharing two delicious toaster-ready recipes that are not only quick, easy and warm-weather appropriate- they’re also vegan!

Cookbook author and writer (and Hope’s other mom) Julia Turshen came up with these two recipes for us today.

About Julia: Julia Turshen is a Brooklyn-based food writer. She co-authored Spain: A Culinary Road Trip, The Kimchi Chronicles, It’s All Good, Buvette: The Please of Good Food and The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Gourmet, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Epicurious and Cherry Bombe.

Click through for both recipes after the jump!

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The Lebanese equivalent of panzanella, fattoush is a wonderful way to use up leftover pita bread. Topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs, stirred together with a can of drained chickpeas or served alongside grilled fish or chicken, this makes a complete meal.

Serves 4

-1 cucumber, cut into ½-inch dice
-2 ripe tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice
-4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
-2 tablespoons roughly chopped dill
-1 teaspoon za’atar (or ½ teaspoon each dried oregano and sesame seeds)
-½ teaspoon coarse salt
-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
-¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 pita breads

Place all of the ingredients except for the pita breads into a large bowl and stir to combine. Taste the salad for seasoning and add more za’atar, salt or lemon juice if you’d like.

Meanwhile, toast the pita breads and, while they’re warm, cut them into bite-
sized pieces. Add the pita to the vegetable mixture, stir to combine and serve immediately.

Avocado Toast with Quick Pickled Vegetables

Avocado toast has become incredibly ubiquitous. While this is definitely not a bad thing (it’s delicious! fast! healthy!), it begs for a bit of variety. These super simple pickled vegetables are not only quick to make, but they make a staple dish extra special. The pickles are wonderful not just with avocado, but also with anything rich— alongside paté, on a tuna salad sandwich or tucked into a grilled cheese or a quesedilla.

Serves 4

-1 cup root vegetable matchsticks (for this combination I used a watermelon radish, a small yellow carrot, a small purple carrot and a piece of red onion— but any mixture of ‘hard’ vegetables will work including beets and butternut squash)
-Coarse salt
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
-4 slices country bread
-Olive oil
-1 ripe avocado

Place the vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, the sugar and the vinegar. Use your hands to mix everything together and set the vegetables aside for at least 10 minutes.*

Meanwhile, toast the bread and drizzle each piece with about ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Place ¼ of the avocado on each slice and mash into the bread with a fork. Sprinkle each slice with a generous pinch of salt.

Drain the vegetables and evenly divide them between the toasts. Serve immediately.

*Covered with plastic wrap, the vegetables can be stored in the fridge for up to a day.







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