Toast goes upscale when you start with something more intriguing than plain bread. This is a tasty way to use up some of the baked goods that have made their way into the kitchen over the holidays and turned a tad stale.
(If, of course, you have eaten your way straight through all your Christmas baked goodies, then sourdough bread, as shown here, works very nicely too!)
For the butter, we continue the flavors from the Citrus Salad — honey, citrus zest, and fresh juice.
Inspired Toast with Sweet Citrus Butter
8 tablespoons European-style premium unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh citrus juice
1 teaspoon finely grated citrus zest
Coarse salt, to taste
12 slices panettone, stollen, other fruited bread, or vanilla pound cake (each about 1/2-inch thick)
For the butter: Beat the butter until smooth in a small bowl. Stir in the honey, juice, and zest. Store tightly covered for up to 3 days in a glass container. (This is to avoid picking up phantom odors from plastic containers.) To serve, return the mixture to room temperature, stir well, and sprinkle the top with salt.
For the toast: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Bake until heated through but not too dry, turning once, about 10 minutes. Serve warm with the citrus butter.
Sheri Castle is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, recipe tester, and culinary instructor. She is the author of The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Farm Boxes. Sheri is known for melding storytelling, humor, and culinary expertise, so she can tell a tale while making a memorable meal. She hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains but now lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, daughter, and beloved dog. She is fueled by farmers' market fare and excellent bourbon. Check her out at www.shericastle.com.
(Images: Faith Durand)