Field Notes

Chilies for Breakfast

Chilies may not seem like the most obvious ingredient to reach for when preparing the first meal of the day. But we’ll argue that they have a place right alongside your first cup of coffee. Beyond enhancing breakfast staples like eggs, chilies might even be beneficial to your morning routine from a health perspective: the capsaicin in hot chilies triggers the production of endorphins in the brain. Who wouldn’t want to start the day with a surge of happiness?

Our favorite way to get our morning dose of chilies is avocado toast. The current darling of every hip restaurant in Brooklyn and beyond, this simple dish is easy to make, healthy, and the perfect canvas for an array of toasted chili flakes. Craving spice? Sprinkle your toast with piri piri flakes. Looking for a rich, almost sweet heat? Try aleppo pepper. Just don’t forget a good sprinkling of Maldon flaky salt and some lemon zest.

Avocado Toast

Serves 1

  • ½ avocado, pitted and skin removed
  • 1 slice sourdough bread, toasted
  • ⅛ teaspoon flaky salt (such as Maldon)
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili flakes (we love piri piri, aleppo, or morita)
  • ⅛ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Olive oil

Cut the avocado half in half lengthwise. Using the back of a fork, smash one of the halves until it is mostly broken down into a chunky puree. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, then spread in an even layer on the piece of toast. Cut the remaining half of the avocado into thin slices, sprinkle with salt, then arrange on the crushed avocado layer. Sprinkle the toast with the chili flakes, lemon zest and a small drizzle of olive oil.