Even though tomato, mozzarella and basil are a combination that doesn’t need any additions, sometimes I can’t help myself.
Avocado is a worthy accompaniment especially when it’s mashed to create caprese avocado toast.
I am a big fan of things on toast for pretty much any meal from a weekend lunch to a weeknight dinner.
It’s another reason to make sure you have a good loaf of bread in your kitchen at all times because you just never know when you need to improvise.
How To Tell If An Avocado Is Ripe
I hate to say it, but there’s no 100% foolproof way to tell if an avocado is ripe. Having ripe avocadoes is important when you are mashing them up to spread on toast.
Here are thing to look for when choosing ripe avocadoes:
Color & Texture: A ripe avocado will have dark green skin that can look almost black. Also, the skin will feel bumpy. These signs don’t always work because there can be variations depending on the variety of avocado.
Softness: When you gently squeeze a ripe avocado, it should give just a bit. If it’s too firm, the avocado isn’t ready yet.
Stem: You should be able to easily remove the stem. And it should be green underneath. If it’s brown, that means the avocado is overripe.
When you buy avocados, think about when you’re actually going to eat them. You may want to choose avocadoes that aren’t as ripe knowing that they will sit for a few days before you use them. In that case, I would pick an avocado that feels firmer when you give it a light squeeze.
How To Cut An Avocado
First, slice the avocado lengthwise all the way around.
Then twist the sides apart. I like to remove the avocado pit without a knife, especially when I don’t care about perfect slices.
To remove the pit, I use a spoon to just scoop it out.
This is what you need for the toast:
Avocadoes: Ripe avocadoes are easiest to mash for avocado toast. They are creamy and delicious, too!
Tomatoes: I prefer medium-sized tomatoes. You can use heirloom tomatoes and tomatoes in any color.
Mozzarella: Buy a large ball of fresh mozzarella that’s around 8 ounces. Then slice it about the same thickness as the roasted tomatoes.
Basil: In between the slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, I layer in basil leaves.
Crusty Bread: Try to find a nice loaf of artisan bread that has a hearty crust to support the avocado spread, tomatoes and mozzarella.
Pesto: To maximize the basil flavor, I add pesto to the mashed avocado.
Olive oil: I drizzle both the tomatoes and bread with olive oil before they go into the oven.
Salt & Pepper: With so few ingredients, salt and pepper are crucial to bring out the flavors of everything from the tomatoes to the mozzarella.
How To Make Caprese Avocado Toast
First, I preheat the oven and put the sliced tomatoes on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Then I drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.
The tomatoes roast for about a half hour until they are wrinkled at the edges.
Also in the oven go the slices of bread. Arranging them on a sheet pan with a splash of olive oil is the easiest way to do a batch toast.
While the tomatoes and bread are in the oven, I mash the avocado with basil, salt and pepper.
Finally, it’s time to assemble the toast. I start smearing each slice of bread with avocado. Then I alternate tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves on top.
To finish, I sprinkle the toast with flaky sea and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Arrange the tomatoes without overlapping in a single layer on the sheet pan, Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they are wrinkled but still juicy, about 25-30 minutes.
Place the bread on another sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Warm the bread in the oven until it is lightly golden and toasted, about 8-10 minutes.
Halve the avocadoes lengthwise and remove the pits with a spoon. Scoop out the flesh and mash it with the pesto, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Spread the avocado on the toast. Top with the roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.