This is one of those meals directly derived from an unforgettable restaurant experience that I had. When my family was just in Brooklyn visiting Hunter, we had a late brunch at Heavy Woods in Bushwick. My mom and I both had this avocado toast, and it was everything. So good, in fact, that no part of me felt envy for everyone else’s pork belly-bacon-potato hash-crab cake deliciousness that would normally have me questioning all of the life decisions I’d ever made. I was all set being basic and becoming a statistic (the number of human beings eating and documenting avocado toast, and in New York no less).
This brunch dish was perfection, and it was all I could do to try and recreate it at home. And what I felt was most important to achieve was making sure the avocado was super lemony, the toast thick cut and hearty, and the olive oil overtly fruity and flavorful. I think I did pretty well, and until you can go to Heavy Woods yourself, give this at-home version a whirl. Such a decadent and fun weekend breakfast that feels every bit as indulgent as all your other favorite brunch things.
Poached egg over lemony avocado toast (+ feta + basil olive oil + sunflower seeds)
Serves 1-2, but recipe could be made for as many servings as you’d like
1 large avocado (I used 1½ avocados because mine were small)
Juice of about half a lemon (start with slightly less, and then adjust, since some lemons are juicier)
Pinch or two of salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra for serving
1 very fresh egg (or 2 if you want this toast to be shared by two)
French boule bread (or any good bread), sliced ¾-1 inch thick (I used an enormous slice that Jon and I shared)
Butter for toast
2 T or so good feta cheese
1 T basil olive oil or other really good, flavorful extra virgin olive oil
1-2 T sunflower seeds
Cut avocado in half and scoop into a small bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over the top, and mix to combine, keeping it pretty chunky. Add a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Set aside. Heat a pot of water over medium heat until simmering (NOT boiling—in fact, to make things easy, use a meat thermometer—you want the water to be about 190-200 degrees). Use a big spoon to stir the water around and around in one direction until swirling. Crack egg into a tiny bowl, and lower the bowl to the edge of the water and gently tip the egg in. The swirling water will help to wrap the egg white around itself and coagulate. Let the egg poach for 3-4 minutes or so, and in the meantime, toast bread until golden, and slather with a little butter, followed by the avocado. The egg is done when whites are cooked through and yolk feels soft and springy to the touch. Carefully remove the egg with a slotted spoon and set in the middle of the avocado toast. Sprinkle with feta cheese, and drizzle basil oil thinly all over the top. Lastly, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and a little extra salt and freshly cracked pepper, and eat right away. Do not pause to take pictures like I did or attempt any other task. Just eat it... by yourself or with someone you lub.