Fall rolls around and the pace of life suddenly picks right up again, which can mean less and less time dedicated to dinner. I’m constantly thinking about next to effortless dinners that still feel a bit special and elegant. My friend Athena recently sent me a copy of her cookbook, and she really hits the nail on the head with this. There are so many thoughtful dishes that are elegant in their simplicity but elevated with bright herbs, citrus, and tangy dressings.
I’m choosing to share my version of two of the toasts in Cook Beautiful, mostly because in the fall, toast can easily become a vessel for me at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There are endless variations on these recipes – use the leftover ricotta for toasts topped with roasted mushrooms or poached eggs – or top the ricotta with jam if you’re out of grapes – stir into pastas and more. A note for the radicchio toasts: radicchio can be rather bitter so if bitter is not your thing, you could use milder endive, or watercress and some sprouts.
I’m looking forward to carrying this beautiful yet effortless cooking into each season to come (just as the cookbook is organized; by season) and cooking my way through the book. I have plenty already bookmarked like her creamy cauliflower soup with dukkah and watercress pesto, slow-roasted arctic char, and tons of the veggie dishes like delicata squash agrodolce, roasted cauliflower with lemon zest, parsley, capers, and jalapeno, and charred broccolini with green relish and feta. Congratulations to Athena, I know she will make a lot of happy home cooks!
PS since we are on the topic of all things toasts, my absolute favorite GF breads are the country loaf from Kim and Jake’s, everything Vegan Mario, and Honey Hi’s sourdough.