Who doesn't love a stack of buttered white toast with peanut butter, jam, Marmite or lemon curd?
How about French toast drenched in fruit compote and maple syrup... Or rye toast, slathered in cream cheese and topped with slivers of smoked salmon? And let's not forget what is possibly the toast of our time – sourdough, piled high with crushed avocado, chilli flakes and salt.
Whether for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or even dessert, toast always hits the spot.
This National Toast Day, we are challenging toast perceptions and introducing some of the delicious and imaginative dishes you can create with the humble slice of toast.
With that, we bring you our favourite toasted treats...
strawberry and rhubarb smash toast
What, we ask you, could be more delicious than jammy strawberries and rhubarb atop a soft cheese-smothered piece of toast? The juicy strawberries in this recipe perfectly counteract the rhubarb's natural tartness. This would make an extravagant brunch or a satisfying dessert after a heavy meal.
Cantaloupe and prosciutto toast
The combination of melon and cured ham is an Italian classic, and one that has been around for many years. The saltiness of the ham works perfectly with the sweet juiciness of the melon – and it is important that the melon is super-ripe. Spreading your sourdough toast with soft cheese adds another taste and texture to this dish, which would be a fantastic lunch, canapé or light dinner.
labneh and figs on toast
Labneh is strained yogurt – straightforward to make, you just need to make sure you give it enough time to thicken. After 48 hours of being sat in a kitchen-towel-lined sieve in the fridge, your Greek yogurt will have taken on the form of labneh, and can be used as a spread (as it is in this downright delicious recipe). Drizzled with honey, topped with ripe fig and sprinkled with chopped chives, this is glorious as a breakfast, lunch, or a generous snack.
roasted banana smash toast
Smash toast was the breakfast trend of 2017, and it's still going strong on Instagram. If you haven't heard of it before, smash toast is created by smashing up any delicious flavour combination and serving on top of a slice of toast of your choice.
We love the original avocado smashed toast with a squeeze of lemon and some fresh chilli, but our new favourite combination is this roasted and caramelised banana smash toast served on mascarpone and scattered with chopped pistachios - breakfast perfection.
Sourdough French toast
Tom Daley knows a thing or two about how to eat a hearty breakfast to set you up for the day, and his sourdough French toast recipe with spinach is a thing of beauty. Sourdough works really well for French toast as it holds its shape well and gets lovely crusty edges when fried. The addition of the nutmeg adds another flavour dimension to the iron-rich spinach. Be like Tom and try it this weekend...
roasted peach smash toast
How we love those blissful late summer months when peaches are in season. This recipe celebrates the juicy stone fruit to the max. Sliced, roasted with honey and served on ciabatta slices with crème fraîche and raspberries, peach is possibly one of our new favourite toast toppings.
Poached egg and asparagus on toast
Bacon and egg like you've never seen it before, this brunch recipe is super easy, and looks restaurant-worthy when plated up. Simply bake bundles of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto before serving on grilled ciabatta and topping with a runny poached egg. The charring on the bread goes really nicely with the sweetness of the roasted veg and saltiness of the prosciutto.
Garlic mushrooms on toasted French bread
Searching for a new lunch idea? This vegetarian recipe is really easy to make but looks great and tastes even better! Mushrooms, garlic, crème fraîche and parsley are combined before pouring over toasted baguette. Try this as a dinner party starter - it's really easy to scale up the recipe to suit any number of guests.
Watercress and Feta Flatbreads With Za-Atar
It's not just your classic white Farmhouse loaf that can be made into delicious toast. Pittas make for a delicious crunchy base that can be sliced and dipped, or served whole and topped with your choice of flavours. This Middle-Eastern inspired recipe combines tangy feta with peppery watercress and za-atar, which is a spice mix made up of hyssop, sumac, sesame and salt. If you prefer, you can make this dish into a salad with chunks of pitta torn up and thrown into the leaves.
Classic tomato bruschetta
This classic Italian lunch is an example of delicious Mediterranean simplicity. Toasted ciabatta is rubbed with garlic before being topped with chopped tomatoes, red onion, balsamic vinegar and basil. A flavour combination that can't be beaten, and will set you back mere pennies.