Toast is not a recipe kind of food; really, toast is just heated bread, which is hard to make but quite easy to purchase at the store. With my last grocery purchase, I got a loaf of “take and bake” rustic bread, which browned up wonderfully in the oven while I was making some pasta for Husband and myself.
The real trick was done earlier this summer; our garden has produced a very large basil bush, and I was trying like crazy to use it without letting it all get bug-bitten and covered in spiders webs. One of my attempts was to make a compound butter: basically, you soften butter, add finely chopped herbs and spices, and roll it up in waxed paper into a tube that you can chill and use over time. The longer you have it (not to the point of being rancid, but within a few weeks or months) the longer the flavors have to seep into the butter, making it even more delicious. Ours ended up looking like this one, even though we included no lemon in ours.
I had let the little brown-wax-paper roll sit quietly in our fridge for weeks, but when I pulled that steamy loaf of bread out of the oven, I knew it needed something special. Having the compound butter actually meant that slicing the bread, slicing the compound butter, and combining them for a little trip under the broiler was a snap. To find, chop, and add basil, as well as butter, as well as garlic, would have been quite the hassle.
What resulted was a very quick-in-the-moment toast that was fancier and more flavorful than just regular buttered bread; the butter itself seeped into the bread, leaving plenty of basil all over the top, and the garlic powder I’d used browned up in small specks throughout the toast. I’d recommend this little work-ahead, semi-homemade trick for making a fancy little appetizer or just for a night when you need a comforting, delicious piece of toast.