The Art of Avocado on Toast

I’m being serious, there’s an art to this. Done properly, avo on toast is one of the most sublime breakfasts/brunches/snacks/whatevers going. Done badly, which it is so often, it’s nowt but slimy green bread. I consider myself something of a master when it comes to avo toast and I don’t mind saying so. Here are my 5 steps to a really good Saturday morning.

1. Choose the right bread. You need one slice of excellent white sourdough bread per person. It really does need to be the best bread you can get. My favourite is from Brickhouse.

2. Choose the right avocado. A properly ripe avocado is essential, either the Hass (small, bobbly) or Fuerte (smooth skinned) variety, although it’s harder to get a good example of the latter. If you live near a grocer that sells those mahoosive African jobbies then give them a go – they can be gorgeous if caught at the right stage of ripeness.

3. Get the toast temperature spot on. One of the joys of avo on toast is the contrast between the warm bread and cool topping but don’t be tempted to whack it on there straight away, it will be too hot and the fruit will go unpleasantly gooey underneath. The key is to let the toast cool for 30 seconds or so, out of the toaster, but propped up against something (like the side of a chopping board); if you let it lay flat on a surface it will sweat and go soggy.

4. Apply the avocado correctly. Use a spoon to scoop out portions of avocado, then smoosh each onto the toast with a fork, leaving attractive tine marks. Don’t go overboard, it just needs to be pressed on unceremoniously. Chunks are desirable.

5. Get the toppings right. The ultimate combo for me is as follows:

– 1 very finely shredded spring onion per slice
– A sprinkle of red chilli flakes (the flavour works better than fresh chilli, I think)
– Plenty of good salt, like Maldon
– Black pepper (not too much)
– A conservative tinkle of lemon juice (really do be careful as too much will ruin it but a tiny bit is wonderful)
– A little zig zag of your absolute best extra virgin olive oil (a grassy flavour is perfect).

That, for me, is the ultimate avocado on toast. The most satisfying meatless breakfast/brunch going, surely?

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    Reply Emma February 22, 2014 at 11:34 am


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    Reply Andrea February 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    It is The Best. I like to butter my toast, and then top the avocado with a squeeze of lime juice, Maldon and habanero chilli sauce.

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      I do often sub lime for lemon juice too. Also, habanero always welcome…

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    Reply Gene February 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I’m always astonished at the passion you Brits have for toast. The avo toast does look lovely, though.

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Do we?! Maybe we do. Other people don’t? You don’t like toast? Do you have good bread? I’m really confused.

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    Reply Gene February 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I like toast, but rarely eat it, unless I’m eating breakfast at a restaurant and it’s included. It’s not that Americans don’t like toast, it’s that, and this is purely my own observations, the British seem to take it more seriously than we do. Which I admire. Good bread is essential, you’re right!

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      You’re right, it is pretty serious business! Tea and toast mmmm. Also mushrooms on toast, crab on toast, egg on toast yeah…we like toast.

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    Reply Becca February 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I prefer a bit of fresh red chilli to chilli flakes, and sometimes the addition of some chopped parsley, but other than that yes to everything.

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      I’ve tried herbs but…not for me. I love how everyone has very specific additions.

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    Reply Natasha February 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I love avo on toast… It it best brekka ever. I do mine with a thin layer of chipotle chilli mayo ( luchito) and a poached egg on top.

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      An egg! You firecracker, you.

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    Reply Sienna February 22, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Avocado on toast is actual food heaven and I like that everyone does it slightly differently. I personally have found my ideal to be this: a thin base of salty butter, tahini and marmite. This gives it a tang that is simply perfect against the creamy avocado, which goes on next. On top goes some alfalfa sprouts for texture. Then I dress with olive oil, Maldon, lemon juice, pepper and chilli flakes. Yummy.

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      I remember you telling me about that actually. Or was it Kerstin? Anyway I have to try it, basically!

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      I remember you telling me about that actually. Or was it Kerstin? Anyway I have to try it, basically!

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    Reply Liz Thomas February 22, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    I have never, ever, had avocado on toast. Clearly something has been missing in my life.

    I will rectify this asap, and the idea of the egg is tantallising!


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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm


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    Reply Caroline February 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    A reed avocado, dash of pico de gallo seasoning, sqirt of lime and a dollop of crema mexicana. That’s how I roll.

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Nice rollin, Caroline. Nice rollin.

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    Reply Msmarmitelover February 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Sienna,
    Why are you are not calling me in South Africa? Anyway good to see you are alive. Yes that is a fabulous avo on toast recipe and as you may remember, perfect exam revising sustenance!
    Like your point Helen about waiting 30 seconds to put on the avocado. I think I do this instinctively but good to read the scientific reasoning behind this.

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      Reply Helen February 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      I like how my blog has taken on a mother-daughter communication role now x

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    Reply Deena kakaya February 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Funny isn’t it, that there is an art to simplicity. There is no point of using a perfectly ripe avocado, I like using pecan bread too, fresh chillies on the avocado, tomato and some vegetarian hard cheese. Gorgeous x

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    Reply Ms Marple February 23, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    What about Marmite?… yes..there’s room for all your fancy schmancy chillis, sea sat and fol de rols but if you wake up in a strange house with nothing but a perfect avocado in your pocket…and the meagre contents of a stranger’s food cupboard, it is the smearette of the brown stuff, atop the mother’s proudest of breads, for the avo to nestle into..that gives a woman the necessary saltiness to leave with her head held high…

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      Reply Helen February 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      See previous comments 😉

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    Reply Ms Marple February 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Oops..oh yes Sienna.. missed that.. Sorry..blinded by tahini!

    …on the plus side..had avocado on toast for lunch..with Tahini….mmmmmmm

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    Reply Katie February 23, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I like it on Tomato Bread: rub a garlic clove on the toast, then rub it with a half of tomato, squeezing lightly to get the juice. Then add the avocado, bit of salt and olive oil. Breakfast Heaven!

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      Reply Helen February 24, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Lovely. Like a sort of pan con tomate with avo

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    Reply Leila February 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Do you ever rub your toast lightly with garlic before smooshing in your avo? I like the extra kick it gives.

    I also shared a few thoughts about avocado on toast, which I totally agree is one of the best breakfast/brunches/snacks around:

    Leila x

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      Reply Helen February 24, 2014 at 9:56 am

      YES, I do! Love a bit of garlic on there x

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    Reply CG February 24, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I live in the Southwestern US and I have never heard of anyone eating this! I am intrigued.

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      Reply Helen February 24, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Really! Well there you have it, a little gift from London.

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    Reply Lizzie February 24, 2014 at 10:17 am

    My month of veganism ruined avocado on toast for me – I find it too rich now, the hot bread and the cold avo being a bit… squidgy. Even worse when someone puts a poached egg on top and the hot yolk mingles with the green… oh god.


    Yours looks freaking excellent though, so maybe it’s time for a re-try.

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      Reply Helen February 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

      The only voice of dissent. Sad making!

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    Reply Hungry February 24, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Totally agree on the sourdough – preferably with some arty grill lines across it. Avo lightly pilled on top, a few finely chopped slides of fresh chill, a squeeze of lime, some salt, then slightly smashed on with a fork. Then some proper crispy streaky bacon on top. mmmmm!

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    Reply Ginandcrumpets February 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Having recently discovered the joys of fried feta, I put my vote in for smushed avocado, fried feta and a little bit of Siracha. Because what isn’t improved by a little bit of Siracha?

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      Reply Helen February 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Oooh fried feta you little minx!! I was the last person in the world to come around to Sriracha. Now I love it, obviously.

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    Reply Catriona February 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Love this! No additions, other than perhaps some Sriracha, as just mentioned. Wanted to say that I love the word ‘tine’ – great usage!

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      Reply Helen February 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm


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    Reply Aliya February 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I totally agree-this is my favourite lunch ever!
    Avocado has to be just right though, toast not hot.
    I like homemade mayo with lemon, Maldon salt and pepper.
    Great blog by the way

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    Reply Roger Stowell March 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Nice blog and the avocado on toast is very much my sort of food: tonight we’re having an avocado, roquette and mache salad with new potatoes from Noirmoutier….but it might become avocado salad on toast now.
    If you’re interested, I’m running two weekends of food photography workshops in London at the end of April and beginning of May…the details are on

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