Just last week some beloved neighbors moved away. We had watched the Prestons’ kids grow up from grade school athletes who often played soccer and lacrosse in the front yard, to the successful, poised young professionals they are today. Now that their children are no longer living at home, Kathy and Peter are downsizing and consequently moving off the street where they have lived for more than 20 years.
Our mutual friend and neighbor, Chrissie McHenry, whose children are just a couple of years younger than the Prestons’, invited us all for a farewell dinner before the Prestons loaded up their moving van and emptied their house of the cherished contents of their lives raising three children.
Andrew and I walked down the street bearing pomegranate margaritas and a couple of light appetizers to share before the fantastic meal of grilled steak, sautéed fresh corn, and a tomato and mozzarella salad that Chrissie had prepared.
By far the more popular of the dishes I brought were these Avocado Garlic Toasts. The key is to make them just before serving so the toasts don’t get stale and the avocado doesn’t brown, but they can sit out for 30 minutes or so if necessary.
We are reminding ourselves to cherish our luck of having had such caring and generous neighbors rather than lamenting the loss of one of our favorite families on the block, and we plan to keep in touch and visit them at their new home. Until then, we’ll console ourselves by savoring more Avocado Garlic Toasts and memories of our friends down the street.
Recipe: Avocado Garlic Toasts
Quick, fresh, and delicious.
- 1/2 baguette, whole grain or white, thinly sliced
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 garlic clove, peeled and halved
- 1 large avocado, peeled and very thinly sliced
- Sea salt or other coarse salt to taste, about 1/4 tsp.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the baguette slices on a large baking sheet and, using a pastry brush, brush the tops lightly with oil. Bake them for 5 – 7 minutes until they just start to brown on the edges. Remove them from the oven, transfer them to a serving plate and allow them to cool.
Rub the top of each baguette slice firmly with the cut side of the garlic clove. Fan the avocado slices over the toasted baguette slices and season them lightly with the salt. Serve immediately. (These are also delicious topped with chopped toasted pistachios.)