Recipe: Open Toast Brunch Sandwiches

The secret to a lasting marriage? Food (... fine, and love and compromise and all that other stuff).
I specifically remember walking through the grocery fruit aisle and I saw the peaches bin. They were just so inviting. And all I could think about for the rest of the grocery trip was grilling up some peaches and serving it on a salad or something. So, I picked 1 peach and put it in my cart. It was only when we got to the car that I realized I had walnuts... so now you see how my thought process goes. Haha. It's easy to be inspired when you've got fresh ingredients around you so your mind starts going haywire then overdrive. 

The next morning,  I was determined to make some open toast sandwiches. Et voila! I always have berries and eggs in my chiller so that was easy to think about. When I checked my freezer, behold the smoked salmon! What a great weekend brunch this was going to be! And to think I was on a video call with my friends from Manila and Singapore while making these. You might think they take a lot of effort but really, they were a breeze to make. As long as you have all your ingredients ready, within reach, and all you have to do is just assemble and serve. 

Just to clarify, open toast sandwiches are similar to canapés but they're not at all the same thing. I've heard people mistakenly call these canapés. Yes, similar because they're open. But canapés are considered hors d'ouvres (appetizers, bite-sized) served before a meal. Open Toast sandwiches are a meal in itself. We can thank the Danish for this. The  Smørrebrød (literally translates to butter and bread). All it takes are fresh ingredients and a little imagination and finesse to fix yourself a whole spread for brunch, lunch, and well... let's face it. Any meal of the day! I specifically chose breakfast because it always helps in waking up my husband faster.

Go ahead! Check your pantry, your chiller, and freezer. You never know what you can come up with! You'll be surprised what jewels are hidden in your cupboards and what you can create with them. 

Open Toast Brunch Sandwiches
I made 2 sandwiches each. You can definitely just make 1 kind or 2 for a meal. This was brunch and honestly, we only got to each 2-3 kinds each. 

You'll need a chopping board, knife, grill pan, skillet, toaster (or you can just use your oven), and a baking sheet. 

8 slices of rye bread, light

1 peach, sliced in wedges
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped and toasted
3-4 tbsp mascarpone cheese
honey for drizzling

4 slices of smoked salmon
2-3 tbsp whipped cream cheese, light (preferred because you already have salt in the salmon)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
dill or chives, chopped for garnish

3 eggs, large, beaten
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
chives or green onions, chopped for garnish
parsley, chopped for garnish

3-4 tbsp mascarpone cheese
mix of fresh berries (raspberries and blueberries)
2 tbsp Nutella, melted for drizzling

1. It’s very important to get your mise-en-place ready. When slicing and using the same chopping board, always slice the sweeter ingredients first. Slice the peach wedges, the avocado, and chop the walnuts. Rinse your board and chop the savoury next, the dill/chives and set all aside.
2. Using a grill pan on high heat, grill the peach slices around 2 minutes per side until you achieve nice grill marks. Do not over cook. Set aside. I have a griddle/grill pan - I toasted the walnuts on the griddle pan on the other plate.
3. Toast the bread slices. Melt the Nutella in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. 
4. While waiting for the toasts, make the scrambled eggs. On low heat, melt the butter and add the beaten eggs. Continue sitting to get the fluffy consistency. Remove from heat and add the cream and cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Assemble your open toasts:
Grilled Peach Toast - smear a helping of mascarpone cheese on the toast, top with grilled peach wedges, add the toasted walnuts, and drizzle with honey

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Toast - smear a tablespoon of cream cheese on the toast, layer and fan some avocado slices, top with smoked salmon slices, and garnish with chopped dill or chives

Scrambled Egg Toasts - top the toasts with your fluffy scrambled eggs and top with freshly ground pepper and chopped chives

Berry and Nutella Toasts - spread some mascarpone cheese on the toasts, top with your mixed berries, drizzle with melted Nutella

6. Enjoy your brunch smorgasbord!!!

*Use whatever you have in your pantry. If you have peanut butter, use that as a drizzle. If you don't have mascarpone cheese and only have cream cheese, whip it up with added sugar. 

**Go with the fruits in season. If you have fresh mangoes, you can grill that too instead of peaches. Or, you can dice them up or slice them and fan them out on the toast. If you have apples, dice them up and cook them in some butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Use fruits that are naturally in season so that they taste their best.

***I generally prefer light rye bread for open toast sandwiches only because they're more sturdy and can hold the weight of the ingredients. I choose the light kind due to its taste - it's mild and it doesn't overpower all the other flavours. If you prefer other types of rye bread (pumpernickel, dark, or marbled), go ahead. Dark or pumpernickel bread would make a good base for the avocado and salmon toast. 

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