I’m rarely one to jump into trends with much force. Okay, fine there was that one pair of hammer pants in the third grade but I returned them immediately after seeing myself in the mirror. But I’ve never tucked into a smoothie bowl capped with perfectly frosted frozen berries or made anything “unicorn”. The one food trend I will stand by as a devout fan is toast. But to me it hardly feels like a trend as I’ve been eating toast since I taught myself how to slip a piece of bread into the toaster then retrieve it with a butter knife. Said butter knife then immediately dove into the butter where I proceeded to slather nearly half the stick on my one piece of toast. To this day a deeply toasted piece of thick cut bread with butter and tart jam is my ideal breakfast.
This toast is a bit more involved than the toast of my childhood but only a bit. First salty prosciutto is crisped in a cast iron skillet where peaches slip into the open spaces to caramelize and mingle with any bit of fat that melts off the white laced prosciutto. The bread, thickly sliced, is toasted in the same pan slick with a bit of butter or olive. It’s toasted until just golden and crisp on the exterior while the airy crumb remains soft and billowy. While still warm peppery Pecorino sits on top of the bread followed by slices of the caramelized peaches, a wafer of crispy Prosciutto and a light wisp of finely chopped rosemary. The beauty of this entire dish is that it’s made in one pan and best cooked over an open fire, which as you all know by now, is my favorite way to cook.
I prepared these toast bites a couple weekends ago at Camp Campari in San Francisco. I was there cooking with my friends at Barebones Living. We set up camp near the grill and watched as fellow campers painted with watercolors, enjoyed Campari laced cocktails, and hand tied Shibori cloths in tents flapping in the warm San Francisco breeze. I created this simple toast to pair with a pine infused Campari cocktail with bourbon and sherry.
Of course a campfire isn’t required to make this recipe but it sure does help.
*This post was created in partnership with Barebones Living. I’m thrilled to partner with this brand who believes as Rumi said, ‘Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you love.’ Come, be drawn to your True North.” Barebones creates beautiful and practical products made for a life lived out of doors. They also have a heart to serve and have provided numerous tents to act as shelter in disaster stricken areas. Check out their website to learn more about their story and gather your tools for more outdoor living.
Grilled Peach Toast with Crispy Prosciutto and Pecorino
The key to this dish is the quality of the ingredients. Save this one for the season when peaches perfume the markets. The salty pecorino and prosciutto soften under the smoky sweetness of the grilled peach.
As for the toast, I prefer a butter or oil crisped exterior with a soft bite inside so eating the toast doesn’t feel like a chore.
3 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto
1 large, ripe peach, pitted and quartered
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
6 thickly sliced pieces of baguette
12 long wispy shavings of pecorino
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
In a large cast iron skillet set over coals or a hot grill fry the prosciutto until shriveled and crisp about 3 minutes then flip and cook an additional minute or two.
Add the peach quarters to the same skillet and sear until charred on the exposed flesh. Set aside the peaches and prosciutto.
Add the olive oil or butter to the skillet then crisp the bread until golden on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Add the pecorino to the toast while warm then thinly slice the peaches and add 3 to 5 slices on top. Sprinkle with flake salt and black pepper then add a broken piece of the crispy prosciutto. Finish with a little pinch of chopped fresh rosemary. Serve while warm.
I get on these kicks where I become obsessed with an ingredient, method or flavor and then I’ll find myself putting whatever the thing may be into all the things.
For awhile, thanks to my friend Megan, I was toasting oats every single morning and making all sorts of batches of oatmeal and/or oatmeal granola hybrids. Then there was the time I ate rosemary ash at Hogstone on Orcas Island and I’ve never shied away from something being “too dark” since. When Reneé Erickson showed me how beautiful tomatoes and vanilla are together I started putting vanilla salt on everything; sweet and savory.
Currently I’m freckling all my toasts, salads, and soups with whole roasted spices, and thanks to my new grill everything is getting bathed in smoke and I’m finding all sorts of places to tuck in charred scallions.
For the next book finely chopped charred scallions are swirled into sour cream for a dip reminiscent of french onion dip with a brighter, smokier taste. But here we’re slipping them into a comforting grilled cheese sandwich.
If you have a grill handy that is ideal but most often I sear these on a cast iron grill pan or just in my skillet. Grill or sear until nearly blackened (remember that ash from above?). They soften and turn sweet with a bit of time. That deep char gives off a lovely smokiness and once finely chopped and with a bit of salt mixed in they turn into a lovely relish-like sauce that, as I’ve been doing, can be tucked in everywhere.
Add the olive oil to a large cast iron skillet or if you are grilling the scallions toss with the oil. Sear or grill the scallions until softened and deeply charred in parts, about 5 to 8 minutes, turning as needed.
Remove the scallions from the pan or grill, let cool for at least 5 minutes then finely chop. Add the salt.
Slather the bread with dijon, add the butter to the skillet and add two slices of bread. Add 1/2 cup grated gruyere to the bread and half of the scallions. Top with the other piece of bread then grill until deeply golden and the cheese has melted.