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Avocado Toast with Poached Egg: The Meaning of Silence

Some of the most profound moments in our lives are, in fact, defined by silence. Sometimes there is silence because time is needed. Sometimes there is silence because the meaning of words is too complex, either because the emotions associated with them are happy or sad. Sometimes there is silence because there is nothing more to be said (or maybe nothing ever was). Sometimes there is silence because there are secrets. Sometimes there is silence due interruption; the line cuts off, the Internet connection fails, a letter gets lost.

I tend to read into silence. It drives me crazy, in fact. Some of the worst fights I have had with people close to me have been veiled in silence; a lack of communication that is more painful than words thrown as daggars. Drawn out silences make me paranoid and plague me with worry. Hearing nothing at all is worse than the rejection of a simple “no.” I talked about quiet times, but silence, silence is different. More can be said in silence than with a string of words. Thing is, I think my problem with silence (and maybe yours?) is that I look for more meaning in it than I do in words. I don’t do silence well, so my assumption is that others are challenged to silence because of circumstances. When, in fact, a lack of communication can communicate nothing more than a space, a distance between words that is unintentionally longer. There are times when silence means nothing at all.

Today, I thought I’d share a recipe that’s less of a recipe and more of a guide to one of my favorite working lunches. Avocados are everywhere in California right now, and I often forget what a treat they are. Don’t get me wrong, I eat them and love them, but I don’t stop to cherish them often. Years ago, on a trip to Costa Rica with my college roommates and one of my best friends from high school, I remember eating avocado sandwiches, a cheap lunch. They were filling and nutritious and at the time, surprisingly delicious. I recently re-discovered the beauty that is avocado on bread. So much so, that if you find me eating this — for breakfast or lunch — there just might be silence because my mouth is full.

Avocado Toast with Poached Egg
*serves one; make as many as you like

1 thick slice of rustic country bread
2-3 slices of avocado
a few cilantro leaves
1 poached egg (here’s the technique I use)
sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toast your bread the way you prefer (in a toaster, in the oven, or in a skillet). If toasting the bread in a skillet, be sure to use plenty of butter in the skillet and butter the bread. Poach your egg while you are waiting for your bread to toast.
2. While the bread is still hot, generously butter one side of it. Arrange the avocado slices over the bread and top with a few cilantro leaves. Place the poached egg in the center of the toast and season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Musical Pairings: Zammuto – Zammuto + Avocado Toast with Poached Egg

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • naturallyella

    Oh gosh, I completely understand. I get really uneasy about silence and when dealing with another person, it makes my head start spinning with questions. I am also sure I’ve picked plenty of fights just by saying, “your not saying anything, you must be mad.” But, I’m learning to be okay with silence because sometimes it can be quiete refreshing 🙂

    As for avocados- I think I almost turned green when I was in Costa Rica. Never have I had such amazing avocados and I can’t think of a better lunch than this!

  • Kasey, I make almost the same lunch. Avocado toast is soooo good. I’ve never added an egg on top, but now I will:)
    Have a good week,

  • Hannah Simon

    When I lived in Ecuador, I’d buy avocados for 10 cents and smash them on top of thick bread with salt, pepper, and chile powder. That was pretty much my breakfast every day for 6 months! YUM.

  • Hannah Simon

    P.S. How do you get such perfect poached eggs? For the life of me I can’t get mine to look like that.

  • I’m loving this post- the pictures, the light, the lovely poached egg! It’s so beautiful, Kasey, and I can’t wait to make this my new working lunch.

  • ‘Hearing nothing at all is worse than the rejection of a simple “no.” ‘

    Rejection is a burdensome weight to bear, so this particular sentence resonated with me. I refer to the phenomenon you described as ‘tacit rejection’, whereby the other person, by not responding with a yes or a no (or whatever response would be appropriate), is still rejecting me as if to say no, but with the added anguish of wonder, wait, and worry. When I’ve reached out to someone in earnest and only receive silence in reply, I can feel myself shrivel.

  • sarah kieffer

    I feel the same way about silence – it can be so awkward, so uncomfortable. My mind is also always racing, so I can’t just be silent. ever. It’s so hard for me. I really liked this post.

    And, I keep seeing avocado on toast! Something I’ve never done. And must start tomorrow. Your photos are gorgeous.

  • Beautiful!

  • I am the same way. Silence tends to turn my worried/paranoid side into overdrive. What did I do? What did I say? Yikes. Avocado toast with egg is a definite favorite of mine. I like a little hot sauce and sometimes top a corn tortilla instead of hearty bread. I am so envious of your access to California avocados. They just aren’t the same here!

  • I’m so glad I’m not the only one that assumes the worst in moments of silence! I always assume people are mad at me if they’re not talking. Man, I miss those Costa Rican avocados…

  • I love it, Erin! The runny yolk is definitely a great addition. You have a good week, too! x

  • Oh, the good old days! Now I feel like avocados are like $5. Gah! I love this for breakfast or lunch…I’m totally addicted!

  • Well, they don’t ALWAYS come out perfect, but I’ve learned a few tricks: using a deep pot with plenty of water to submerge the egg helps. Using a room temperature egg helps. Always use the freshest eggs for poaching (they tend to hold together better). I don’t like to do the whirlpool like some people, I just leave the egg alone. Don’t get the water to a high boil, it kills it. Lastly, breaking the egg into a small ramekin and gently slipping it into the water, I’ve found, is also helpful.

  • Thank you, Jess! You just totally made my day 🙂

  • Let’s kill the silence! P.S. there’s a great NYT article that came out over the weekend about the need for more conversation. Check it out:

  • Oh thank you, lovely! Silence is hard! And you know what, it’s refreshing to hear that! But, sometimes, true silence (not the headphones-in, buried in my iPhone-kind) is actually pleasantly refreshing. And yes, avocado toasts for everyone! Did you see Cookie + Kate’s??

  • Thank you, lovely!

  • Man, you don’t know how happy I am to see this overwhelming ‘silence drives me crazy, too!’ response. I’m glad we’re the conversational types 😉 I hear avocados aren’t the same in the Midwest, just more reason to come visit 😉

  • LP

    I love when there are unexpected items put together in such a fabulous way. I always love breakfast food. It inspired my to look for other great unexpected recipes like this one:

  • @Guacgrl

    You don’t have to forget the avocado’s taste! mexican avocados are available year round! And funny fact… even Costa RIca imports avocados from Mexico LOL
    This recipe (ironically) sounds so delicious that I have to share with other avocado lovers on our Facebook’s Recipes and Tips app.
    Keep spreading the avocado love!

  • I think that those of us who are highly verbal are extra sensitive to silence. We communicate with words and value words so highly that silence throws us for a loop. Am I talking nonsense? Anyway, your avocado toasts are beautiful and I’m glad we’re sharing the avocado love today. I really need to get over my fear of runny yolks. It’s getting pathetic.

  • Yay for avocado day:) Pure perfection here!

  • Pingback: My love for cilantro. | One Ingredient At A Time.()

  • Deliriouscoconut

    hmmmmm nicee !! 🙂

  • Avocado on toast is one of my favorites… especially with a slice of tomato and a delicious piece of cheese….

  • Sarah

    I don’t make avocado on bread often enough, and I think you may have just inspired my dinner for tonight. I see silence in my midst…

  • Nicole Franzen

    um yes please, I eat avocado on toast like its my religion lol. Add a poached egg and your in heaven. xxN

  • For much of my life I have made an effort to not be uncomfortable in silence, though that doesn’t mean that I’ve actually made peace with it. I just think there’s something to be said for trying. 🙂 And, yes to this avocado craze right now. Yes and yes.

  • That’s great! Thanks.

  • I had no idea that most of the avocados in Costa Rica are imported from Mexico! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Us wordy people get all uncomfortable in silence for SURE. I’m a big fan of runny yolks, but I understand the fear. Once you master the poach, you’ll never go back!

  • Thanks, Maria!

  • Ohhh I will try that next time, Carrie!

  • Love.

  • Sounds like avocado is a religion for a lot of people! xo

  • Sometimes we force ourselves into comfort, but deep down inside, there’s still that little feeling of things being a little off. I’m waiting for your avocado take!

  • This is my kind of toast! Some chipotle mayo would be a nice addition.

  • SARA

    yes! I love this combo and haven’t done so in awhile. You are so right on about the silence. I need it to get my mind and goals right, so I find myself avoiding time alone, in silence, because I don’t want to make any commitments to decisions I come to in the quiet. So terrible. Until then, avocado toast.

  • That would be an interesting addition!

  • I totally need silence to make decisions…esp. big ones. But the silence and the decision-making are both scary! I agree, let’s procrastinate with avocado toast 🙂

  • This makes me want to give the avocados on the counter a hug and whisper into the bag “hurry up and ripen”

  • Nathalie

    SUCH a good blend of flavors! I made this for lunch today with slices of brown bread and it was so tasty!

  • Awesome! Glad you tried the recipe and enjoyed the flavors, Nathalie!

  • I love it, Noelle. Matt just used up our avocados to make guacamole, so I am going to need to buy more for my avocado toasts!

  • Yum! I love these ingredients. I have been seeing a lot of avocado/egg combos recently and I like that!

  • Lora

    Ah, this just went up my (imaginary) list of things-to-try-this-weekend. Do you think it would go nicely with a thin layer of marmite? I have only tried it once (not sure if I hate it or love it) but I really want to “introduce” it to my best friend. What do you think?

  • Hi Lora, I have never tried Marmite, so I can’t recommend it. But, truth be told, in this dish, I think simpler is better. That said, you’re welcome to experiment, fo course, and let me know how it goes!

  • Yay for avocados + eggs…together in perfect harmony.

  • Nathalie Agostini

    How do you cut your avocado slices so beautifully? Tutorial please!

  • Aw, thank you Nathalie! Perhaps I should consider a tutorial! I just slice the avocado in half, then cut into long slices!

  • Very insightful post. I, myself, love silence. Living with a television loving husband, when I can find a quiet room, I’m happy. I’d love to enjoy your sandwich in complete silence as well.

  • Pingback: Pin-Spiration Sunday (week 4) | serendipitous()

  • Abbie

    Just made this for dinner – amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

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