<p>Photography by Jeff Coulson</p>
It goes without saying that the most simple recipes are usually the best ones. I find that saying to be especially true when you're hosting a gathering. Ideally, you don't want to be tied down to your kitchen once your guests arrive or have to be making something time-sensitive while trying to entertain friends or family at the same time.
A toast bar makes the idea of entertaining easy as pie (or as toast, really). Simply lay out your flavoured toasts at the table, serve with a big pitcher of iced tea or freshly brewed coffee, and/or a little fresh fruit and cheese -- and you're set! You can prep your toppers ahead of time and assemble right before your guests arrive, or even serve the ingredients in little bowls so everyone at the table can build their own toast. Look for the best quality bread you can find when making these, it will take your meal from good to out-of-this-world delicious. You can make your own bread if you have extra time on your hands or buy sliced bread from your local bakery.
Here are a few of my favourite toast topper combos to pile on top of toast:
1. Smashed ripe avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper topped with a small pinch of red pepper flakes and thinly sliced radishes
2. Garlic and herb cheese (Boursin), sliced tomatoes, chopped chives and freshly cracked black pepper
3. Raspberry jam and coconut chips
4. Chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella) and sliced mango.