I’ve never posted a recipe before, so for fun, here’s a simple one that I came up with during the pandemic lockdown. I call it Heavenly Toast because it uses what I call the Heavenly Combination, which is 1) avocado plus 2) sweet potato. I typically use the Heavenly Combination as the basis for a thick salad dressing: I mash the avocado and sweet potato together with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. But the Heavenly Combination also works fantastically well on toast. I’m not going to practice false modesty here. I believe this recipe to be the most delicious version of “avocado toast” one could hope for. It’s possibly one of the most delicious things one could hope for. It does depend on a secret ingredient though.

You’ll need bread to toast, an avocado, a sweet potato, an onion, salt, and the secret ingredient (more on that below).

First, cook the sweet potato. I find that the fastest way to do this is simply to put it in the microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes. It will cook nicely in its skin. I don’t love using a microwave for everything, but I would keep a microwave just for the convenience of cooking sweet potatoes.

When the sweet potato is nearly done cooking, put the bread in the toaster and toast it.

Now mash and spread a layer of the sweet potato over the toasted bread.

Next, slice open the avocado and mash a layer of it over the sweet potato. You definitely want to do things in this order – sweet potato first, then avocado. If you do the avocado first, it’s going to be displaced when you try to spread the sweet potato.

Now chop an onion into very small cubes and sprinkle some of it over the avocado. Be more generous with the onion than you otherwise might. The raw onion adds texture to the dish and the sharpness of its taste is well absorbed by the Heavenly Combination, so fear not. You might consider using an onion variety that’s on the sweeter and milder side – crunchiness is also a virtue here – but any onion will do. If you really don’t like raw onion, you could try sauteing it lightly. Whatever you do, don’t leave it out.

Now sprinkle some salt over the onion layer. This is really important.

Finally, drizzle some of the secret ingredient over the whole thing. The secret ingredient is butternut squash seed oil. I’m only aware of one company that presses this oil: Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods in the Finger Lakes region of NY. (I have no connection to this company.) The oil can be described as nutty, buttery, and very rich. To be honest, this oil was not “love at first taste” for me and I tried it in a few other dishes without great success. But when I drizzled it on an earlier version of this recipe, something magical happened. The taste went from very good to otherworldly. I would strongly suggest getting butternut squash seed oil if you want make this recipe; however, you could also experiment with other finishing oils like truffle oil, pine nut oil, walnut oil, etc. A basic olive oil is not going to do the trick here. You need something that’s intense enough to cut through the other flavors and also unify them in a delightful harmony. Somehow, butternut squash seed oil does that here.

Time: 10 to 15 minutes.

One thing I love about this recipe is that nothing I’ve tried to add to it so far has made it any better. I’ve tried adding garlic, tomato, fresh basil, fresh tarragon, fresh oregano, sesame seeds, and the like. These wonderful things don’t make it worse, but they don’t make it better either. With just the six core ingredients, you’ve got something optimal, and… heavenly. ■

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