Meet The Chevre-Cado Toast
When Laura Chenel’s Chèvre approached me about developing a recipe for their Chef’s Chèvre I didn’t bat an eye before saying yes. Who says “no” to Sonoma goat cheese from one of the best companies in the business? Grand dame Laura Chenel has retired but is still revered as the pioneering American cheesemaker who supplied Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. Think of Ms. Chenel as a caprine Coco Chanel.
When my two tubs of Chef’s Chèvre arrived, I tossed and turned over recipe ideas for several days—flipping through cookbooks when I couldn’t sleep (what if I swirl that goat cheese into lemon bars with fresh rosemary?) and daydreamed about a forager’s pizza with goat cheese, nettles, and juniper berries – a splendidly savory giant-cracker-thing that would pair with gin.
I wanted to create a stir.
Instead, my mind kept retrieving the glowing image of a recent avocado-toast encounter at Little Collins in New York (I know, I know – the avocado toast is so over, it’s under) and what I had liked so much: the avocado was mashed with feta cheese. The result tasted a wee bit too salty (probably because of the heavy brine on the feta), but delicious nonetheless, especially since it was topped with red pepper flakes and pumpkin seeds. The combination was all zest and crunch.
So, I present to you my summery adaptation, using fresh goat cheese in place of feta. Here you have it, the Chèvre-Cado Toast.
Rev your toaster. Then, combine half a ripe avocado and 2 tablespoons chèvre. Smash them together in a bowl with a fork. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Give it another quick stir. You won’t believe how light and fluffy it is.
Slather the chèvre-cado mixture on a hefty piece of toast. I like to use potato bread from my local bakery, High Street on Market. Crusty sourdough works well, too. I like when the chèvre-cado spread has crevices to seep into. (Chèvr-ices?)
Top with a few pinches of toasted pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, chopped fresh mint, and lemon zest. I love the interplay of all these bright, herbaceous flavors and the textural orchestra of crispy, creamy, and crunchy. If you’re having guests to brunch, set the garnishes out in bowls and let people top freely and wildly.
For breakfast, add a cup of sencha green tea. For lunch or a picnic, pop some bubbly and set out a plate of radishes, sliced oranges, and plump green olives.
Coming Up: June 1 Cocktail Book Dinner at Russet in Philadelphia
There are still a few spots left for my book dinner at Russet, one of Philadelphia’s best BYOs. Start with drinks on Russet’s back patio, and prepare to enjoy a slow seasonal meal paired with glorious libations. This will be an intimate meal, one seating, with a signed book included ($75; reservations: 215-546-1521). Hope to see you!