Toasting Bryant Park
Now I’m going to talk about a business trip and you’re going to wonder what it has to do with this recipe. Trust me, we’ll get there.
So I had to travel for work recently, and, true to form, the person who makes travel arrangements for our company booked me in a hotel that was NOT the conference hotel. Sigh… But this time, though I initially cursed her name (as I made the 15-block walk to my morning conference; “It’s only 3 blocks away”, she had cheerfully informed me), my discount situation ended up being an unexpected delight. It turned out that my hotel just happened to be around the corner from beautiful Bryant Park.
Have you been there? An oasis right in the middle of the Times Square district, I’d heard of it but never seen it. There’s something really magical about it. Maybe it’s the incredibly tall trees, seemingly at home amidst the backdrop of the skyscrapers that surround them.
Maybe it’s the carousel (I’m a sucker for a carousel).
Maybe it’s the mystical energy that emanates from the New York Public Library, serving as the boundary for one entire side of the park – truly the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in.
Maybe it’s the crowd that gathers for the summer movies on the lawn, creating a sense of community you don’t always feel in New York City.
Maybe it’s the toast.
I’m just kidding; it’s probably not the toast. But the toast is good.
One of the few permanent food establishments dotted throughout the park, Le Pain Quotidien (the daily bread), specializes in its namesake. I had the Avocado Toast with citrus cumin salt, chia seeds, and extra virgin olive oil. It was DELICIOUS. So much so that I started to crave it when I got home. So here is my homemade version of Le Pain Quotidien’s Avocado Toast. Or, you can always order their cookbook. Someone get me that for my birthday, why don’t you?
Bakery-made whole wheat toast
1 medium Hass avocado
Extra virgin olive oil
Toast the bread. I can’t emphasize enough that it’s important to have good bread, or this dish just won’t sing.
Mash one half of the avocado with a dollop of olive oil and the juice of one half a lime.
Slice the other half into thin slices.
Spread the mashed avocado on the toast and top with the sliced avocado.
Sprinkle with sea salt and cumin, and drizzle with more lime juice.