California toast is our invention for a special morning meal; it has all the class of French toast but is loads easier. Instead of whisking, soaking, and frying, simply smear toast triangles with almond butter, drizzle with maple syrup, and eat it with a knife and fork. It sounds unassuming, but with crusty multigrain bread, homemade roasted almond butter, juicy berries, and a dusting of cinnamon, it’s unexpectedly complex. Make the almond butter in advance or use purchased almond butter for quick assembly—and top with any seasonal fruit or nuts you have on hand.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 cups raw almonds
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- 8 slices hearty whole grain bread
- 2 bananas (optional)
- 1 pint fresh seasonal berries of any type
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- Cinnamon, for garnish
Make the almond butter
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, then toast for 20 minutes, until fragrant. Let the almonds cool for 1 minute, then transfer to the bowl of the food processor.
- Process for 1 minute until dry and crumbly, then stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn on the processor, then with the motor running add the kosher salt and oil. Continue processing for 5 to 8 minutes, stopping and scraping down the bowl often in the beginning stage and adding a bit more oil if the almonds are too dry. Continue to process until the almonds clump into a large dough ball, and then even longer until the consistency becomes very creamy.
- Pour the almond butter into a sealable container or canning jar and store refrigerated for up to 4 weeks (makes 1 cup). Assemble the toasts
- Toast the bread slices. Slice the bananas, if using.
- To serve, slather each bread slice with almond butter. Slice the bread into triangles and arrange on a plate, then top with the berries, sliced bananas, and maple syrup. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.