Personally, if I’m left to my own devices supper for me would be a series of things on toast. So much so that I’m thinking of making a book of it: all the delicious bits and pieces you can eat; a nod to a collective ‘dish’ but served ‘en toast’(classy) for a kitchen-table kind of feel. I think it plays to both my interest in eating ‘bits and pieces’ or mezze/antipasti/canapes as they are more internationally known, but with a leaning towards breakfast for supper, or ‘brupper’ as one of my friends renamed it. I realise that if you’ve a large family, or frankly, one other person to cook for that doesn’t share your collective interest in things on toast, then the idea is a little limiting. But occasionally, when you find yourself cooking for one, the joy of a fridge raid and the culmination of a cupboard search that ends in ‘toast and things’ for supper, is a simple joy to treasure. Of course, for toast you will need bread, and if you are gluten and dairy and egg and yeast free, this can be a little problematic. Fear not, this chickpea bread (simple, sturdy and delicious) is so easy to make and could provide toast for a whole week! In fact, the chickpea bread is made for toasting: it turns a lovely golden colour, is nutty and fragrant and crunchy on the edges like a good, toasted sourdough.
I’d love to take you through my list of toppings, but frankly we would be here for days. Needless to say, it’s all about flavour and quality, you want creamy and crunch: chicken, avocado and sundried tomato, hummus with roasted peppers and capers, cashew nut butter, alfalfa and mango. Think colour, texture, vibrancy. I like to stroll lovingly from savoury to sweet and sometimes encompass both together - for those of you that haven’t tried cashew nut ‘cream cheese’, honey and toasted walnuts on toast, you are missing out on a gem. This pate is perfect for a supper of ‘toast and stuff’ and a rather marvellous thing in itself; it’s a creamy, buttery pate made velvety with the surprising inclusion of butter beans. Once blitzed with a squeeze of lemon and a little oil they provide the most gloriously smooth and creamy texture that carries the rich smoked salmon perfectly. It’s actually smart enough that you could serve it as a canapé or starter but I rather like the earthy decadence of a salmon and bean pate for supper, sliced cucumber, spring onions and avocado all make perfect additions. For me, it’s a lovely relaxed supper, simply blitz all the ingredients together briefly and then slather liberally over your toast. Heaven.
CREAMY SMOKED SALMON PATE
1 x 400g tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
250g hot smoked salmon
1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
The juice of ½ a lemon
A small bunch of dill or parsley
Place all of the ingredients bar the herbs into a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. If you think the pate isn’t coming together well you can add a dash of dairy-free milk of your choice, until it becomes smooth and creamy. Add the fresh dill (or parsley) to the pate, pulse until combined and then scoop into a bowl ready to serve, or refrigerate until ready to use.