Food & dining

The confident cook

Recipe: Where avocado toast once reigned, now sweet potato toast rules

Sweet potato toast with pepitas and soft-cooked eggs.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Globe

Sweet potato toast with pepitas and soft-cooked eggs.

Lately, to make avocado toast, carb-conscious eaters have been subbing out the bread for roasted planks of sweet potato. But with the price of avocados continuing to rise, more cooks are replacing the avocado instead of the toast. The new topping is roasted, mashed sweet potato, which can be a vehicle for a variety of spices and flavors. Here, mix in cumin and smoked paprika along with maple syrup and lime zest. A zippy salad of watercress and Fresno chiles lightens the dish, pepitas provide crunch, and Mexican cotija cheese lends protein. Instead of serving with a fried egg, soft-cook some. To speed up the prep time, roast the sweet potatoes in advance, then mix in the seasonings and warm everything together just before serving. Sweet potatoes may not have the cache of avocados, but they sure are easier on the wallet. KAROLINE BOEHM GOODNICK

Sweet potato toast with pepitas and soft-cooked eggs

Serves 4

2large sweet potatoes
2tablespoons pepitas
4eggs
1teaspoon smoked paprika, or more to taste
1teaspoon ground cumin
Grated rind and juice of 1 lime
1tablespoon maple syrup
2tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1cup baby watercress leaves
2Fresno chiles, thinly sliced
4large slices bread from a crusty,
whole grain loaf, toasted
cup crumbled cotija cheese

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1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand two 12-inch baking dishes.

2. Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place them in one baking dish. Roast for 60 to 90 minutes or until tender when pierced with a skewer; cool.

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3. In the other dish, toast pepitas for 5 minutes, or until they begin to color; cool.

4. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs and immediately set the timer for 5 minutes. Lift the eggs from the water and transfer to a bowl of very cold water. With the back of a spoon, tap the shells gently and peel them off. Set the eggs on a plate.

5. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin. Transfer the flesh to a bowl. Add the paprika, cumin, lime rind, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. With a fork or a potato masher, mash slightly. Make sure all of the seasonings are incorporated, but do not over mash.

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6. In a small bowl, toss watercress and Fresno chiles with lime juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, and pepper.

7. Top the slices of toast with mashed sweet potato. Sprinkle with pepitas and cotija cheese. Set watercress and chiles on each plate. Carefully, cut the soft-cooked eggs in half. Place 2 halves on each piece of toast.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at kboehmgoodnick@gmail.com.
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