This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a lifestyle choice, because I honestly cannot understand the phenomenon that is Avocado Toast. Yes, this is not a popular opinion; there is a reason I am burying this deep in the Savory Breakfast chapter of my new book Dining In. It’s not that I think Avocado Toast as a concept is bad, it’s just that more often than not, it’s never that good. We all know the story: no matter where you live, there’s a cafe or restaurant serving avocado that’s been smashed to an unrecognizable paste (if you’re lucky, it’s still green) sogging out the (undertoasted) bread it sits on, lacking salt, acid, or probably both. 

This might be okay if avocados weren’t such a special ingredient. Alone, they are stunning in color and shape, rich and fatty with a vaguely nutty, vegetal flavor. They don’t need the toast. In fact, toast, I’d argue, needs them. But I’d rather have toast on its own, perfect in its crunchy simplicity, just like I’d rather eat an avocado by itself, dressed with nothing but lemon juice and lots of crunchy salt. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule; hot sauce, lime juice, and red pepper flakes all have a time and place on an avocado. And now, crunchy, salty Everything Mix (as in, the seedy mix that appears in the condiment section of Dining In). 

Like the name indicates, it’s got everything—caraway seeds, sesame seeds, dried onion, salt, and as many poppy seeds as needed to make sure at least one gets stuck in your teeth. It’s an obvious choice to top springy, doughy bagels, but sprinkled over a creamy, perfectly ripe halved avocado, it’s a revelation. 

Avocados really don’t need anything, except maybe Everything.

Avocado With Everything

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Squeeze half a lemon over each avocado half and sprinkle with the Everything mix. Toast not needed, but I won’t stop you. 

Everything Seed Mixture

  • Yields: Makes about ½ cup

There are so many “everything” puns to be made here, but I will spare you. While perfect on a just-opened avocado, this Everything Seed Mixture can be used to doctor store-bought pita or lavash (brush with oil, scatter over, and bake till crispy), sprinkled over whipped ricotta for dipping, or serve dusted on top of roasted vegetables. I like to toss these seeds into salads for a salty crunch and pops of flavor from the caraway, and to top baked potatoes with sour cream. Point is, keep it on hand and you’ll find a way to use it...on everything (get it?). 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place the white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, caraway seeds, and poppy seeds in a small skillet. Toast them over medium heat until the sesame seeds are golden brown and the caraway is fragrant, about 3 minutes (don’t walk away here; sesame seeds burn super quickly, especially around the edges of the skillet). Remove from the heat and add the onion (if using) and salt. Let cool completely before storing in jars. DO AHEAD: This can be made 1 month ahead and stored at room temperature.

Reprinted from Dining In. Copyright © 2017 by Alison Roman. Photographs copyright ©2017 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.