Sweet Berry & Grilled Peach Toasts w/ Crushed Pistachios, Honey, Mascarpone, & Mint
It’s safe to say that I’m a bona fide toast enthusiast.
The art of smearing, layering, and topping crispy sheets of bread into endlessly appealing combinations is a process that I revel in quite unabashedly. It’s not that the physical act of creating toast is a laborious experience – On the contrary, it is one of the kitchen’s most simple, straight-forward gifts. But there’s a distinct skill to establishing the right balance of textures, flavors, and stunning presentation in one’s toast. It’s a craft, a knack, a subtle demonstration of ingenuity and imagination, and it’s all right at your fingertips.
The beauty of toast is that it gives you the freedom to improvise. Whether your incarnation is simple, classic, or utterly complex, toast is a loyal outlet for a myriad of cooking impulses, among them the necessity to clean out one’s fridge.
I spoke at length in my raspberry-basil jam post about my endless over-purchasing of fruit, and unfortunately this issue strongly persists. Much like my daily struggles against time management, hair maintenance in humidity, and commercialized cycling ($30+ a class, really?!), a superabundance of fruit continues to plague me, and the end does not seem near. I suppose at some point I could simply learn that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, my hair is sort of frizzy, and I’m the only person south of 14th street without a “soul” membership. But WHY?! Lessons are hard, making mistakes is easy, and if you ever see me on a stationary bike, just punch me in the face.
But while my flawed humanity is mostly endearing, my constant overflow of fruit is definitively not. Food is meant to be eaten, not sent to the purgatory that is the bottom shelf of my fridge (the left-hand corner is particularly egregious), so I need to keep finding ways to prevent my fruit from spoiling. For today, toast is that answer.
If you want to just slop a thick layer of cream cheese over any kind of bread and then top it with a shovel of fruit, be my guest. This is a perfectly acceptable way of consuming excess produce and I will applaud your choices to your face while quietly dismissing them in private, just like Emily Post dictates. But if you want to elevate your kitchen remnants into something other than the world’s laziest meal, I’m here to help. The secret is this:
Crunch. Punch. Sweetness. Salt.
This is the magic toast combination.
Crafting a delightful toast doesn’t have to be a pre-planned, chartered out experience. By simply following these CPSS rules (copyright – me) toast can be a unique and indulgent meal whenever you make it and whatever you make it with.
Here’s how this recipe mapped out:
Crunch = Toasted Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Punch = Smokey Grilled Peaches + Flakes of Mint
Sweetness = Honey + Berries + Mascarpone
Salt = Crushed Pistachios
The berries, peaches, honey, and mint (from my personal garden!) were all on-hand when I whipped up this recipe, so I was already half-way there before even heading out to the store. If I wanted to do a pure kitchen clean-out I could have taken this recipe to the finish-line with the available rye bread and butter I had, but what’s the fun in that? I had to do a little something special for ya, so amping this up with cinnamon raisin swirl bread (so good) + mascarpone + pistachios felt like necessary additions to what was already a wonderfully solid base.
This toast (like all good toasts) executes the CPSS rulebook to achieve complete flavor + texture harmony, everything about it is a joy. Grilling the peaches gently caramelizes them while also adding a smokey flavor, making it a small extra-step that adds major appeal – Definitely do this if you can. The crushed pistachios were a dream from both a salty and crunchy perspective, and the subtly sweet mascarpone served as the perfect base to let the bright and ripe taste of the berries take center stage.
It seems heavy-handed for me to describe this toast as sensory overload, but I truly don’t know how else to say it. Every CPSS aspect was strong, vibrant, and entirely delicious. This may just be the perfect toast!
Until, of course, my next perfect toast… 😉 x
Sweet Berry & Grilled Peach Toast w/ Crushed Pistachios, Honey, Mascarpone, & Mint
- 4 Slices Cinnamon Rasin Bread (I used Pepperidge Farm)
- 2 Peaches
- 1/2 cup Mascarpone Cheese
- 1/4 cup Blueberries
- 1/4 cup Raspberries
- 1/4 cup Blackberries
- 1/4 cup Crushed Pistachios
- 1 – 2 tsps Diced Mint
- A few drizzles Honey
- PAM Cooking Spray for grilling
- Toast bread to desired crispness. Set aside.
- While bread toasts, slice peaches into halves or quarters (do whatever is your preference). Next, amply grease grated griddle pan with cooking spray, then heat over high flame. Once hot, grill peaches flesh-side down for ~2 minutes until grill markets are evident, then set aside to cool.
- When ready, smear toast with a thick layer of mascarpone cheese, then top with grilled peaches, mixed berries, pistachios, and mint. Drizzle with as much (or as little) honey as you like, then serve!
>> To crush pistachios, toss nuts (sans shell) into your food processor and pulse 2-3 times.