This unique take on avocado on toast is inspired by a groundnut and avocado salad commonly served in Côte d’Ivoire. Avocado is marinated in lemon juice, then topped with a blend of crushed peanuts, spices and parsley, creating a fresh, citrusy and nutty flavour blend.
Country Number 29: Côte d’Ivoire
Can we just start off by saying that countries with two different pronunciations are utterly confusing. Should we be calling it Côte d’Ivoire or the Ivory Coast? We wouldn’t be so worried if it weren’t for this challenge. You see, we are trying our best to cook our way through every country in the world in alphabetical order. But when a country has two names, this really throws us off. The alphabetical list of countries we have been using as a reference for this challenge went with the French pronunciation of Côte d’Ivoire, so this is what we decided to run with.
Côte d’Ivoire or the Ivory Coast is a West African country with a population of over 26 million. Located on the South coast of Africa, the country gets its name from the major trade that historically occurred here: the export of ivory. Thankfully, these days poaching elephants for ivory has become mostly illegal across the world. Many countries have put a stop on the ivory trade and banned its sale.
History of Ivorian Cuisine
Ivory trade aside, Côte d’Ivoire has a long, complicated history of being reigned by various empires and kingdoms as well as being colonised by the Portuguese and the French. As a result, there are around 78 different languages spoken in Côte d’Ivoire, and also a variety of religions throughout the country. This history has inevitably had an influence on Ivorian cuisine.
Unlike the soft, mild flavours of East African countries, Côte d’Ivoire is known for its sharp and spicy food. Meat and seafood is consumed through the country, with grilled chicken and fish being the most popular non-vegetarian dishes. They also eat some more obscure meats, such as guinea fowl, snails and even monkeys.
However, the most common staples of the Ivorian diet are tubers and grains. Cassava and plantain are especially prevalent, and you’ll find them included in many traditional dishes. Fresh fruit and vegetables are also widely available, with mango, passionfruit, banana, coconut and eggplant amongst the local produce. Côte d’Ivoire is also one of the largest cocoa producers in the world, followed closely by palm oil and coffee.
Popular Ivorian Vegetarian Dishes
- Attiéké– One of the main staples in Ivory Coast cuisine. It is made from fermented cassava which is granulated to become the texture of couscous.
- Alloco– A popular snack made from plantains that are cut into slices then deep-fried until brown and crispy.
- Plakali– A traditional dish made of steamed and pounded cassava roots. It’s characterized by its starchy and sticky texture, and is often used to accompany stew or soup.
- Sauce d’arachide– A Ivorian-style sauce made of peanut butter, water, hot chili peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onions, typically served over rice.
- N’voufou– A dish made up of mashed plantain or yam that is mixed with palm oil and served with eggplant sauce.
- Avocado with groundnut dressing– A simple salad made of cubed avocado marinated in lemon juice, topped with spices and ground peanuts.
Vegetarian rating of Ivorian Cuisine:
Making Avocado on Toast with Spiced Peanut Crumb
As an Aussie and a Kiwi, we are quite partial to smashed avocado on toast. However, we are not the kind of gals to waste all our savings by ordering this dish out at a café. Avocado on toast tends to comes WAY overpriced for what it is, especially given it’s one of the easiest dishes to whip up yourself. Speaking of overpriced, we are very thankful that the cost of avocados has been modest of late. There was a time in New Zealand when they were costing $8 a pop. The prices were so outrageous that someone literally started an avocado black market. This was possibly the only time where the cost of avocado on toast at a café was justified.
Anyway, we love thinking of new ways to jazz up avocado on toast. Whilst researching Ivorian dishes, we came across a simple salad made of avocado marinated in lemon juice and topped with a groundnut dressing. Just to clarify, groundnut is what they commonly call peanuts in Africa. It sounded like an intriguing combination- fresh, citrusy and creamy contrasting with spicy, nutty and crunchy. We wanted to try it out, but figured it would be a little simple on its own. So naturally, we decided to make it into a variation of avocado on toast.
What type of bread to use
When it comes to avocado (or really anything) on toast, the key is in the bread. You can have the most incredible assortment of toppings, but slap them on a sub-standard piece of bread and the dish automatically becomes sub-standard. For this recipe, we’d highly recommend getting hold of (or making) a fresh loaf of sourdough bread. We are very blessed in our household to have a thriving sourdough baby that produces some very delicious sourdough loaves. If you have the time, the energy and the patience (trust us when we say it requires all three), get hold of a sourdough starter and follow this recipe to make your own. Obviously, you can use any type of bread, but we found the flavour of the sourdough to work particularly well with the avocado and spiced peanut crumb topping.
How to make Avocado on Toast with Spiced Peanut Crumb
Avocado on toast really is one of the simplest dishes you can make (unless you’ve decided to make a loaf of sourdough to go with it as we suggested above… in that case, good luck!). Here is how it comes together:
- Cube avocado and marinate it in lemon juice
- Crush peanuts and mix with spices
- Top bread with avocado, peanut spice crumb and parsley and enjoy.
Ingredient notes for Avocado on Toast
- Avocado- Make sure your avocados are perfectly ripe for this recipe. You don’t want them to be over-ripe as they will go mushy when you try to cube them.
- Peanuts– We’d recommend using pre-roasted, salted peanuts for this recipe. If you only have raw peanuts, roast them with a bit of oil and salt in the oven before crushing them.
- Bread– As mentioned above, we’d highly recommend serving this with sourdough but any kind of bread will work.
Serving suggestions for Avocado on Toast
Traditionally in Côte d’Ivoire, they serve this avocado dish on its own. You can have it as a simple side salad, but we’d highly recommend putting it on toast.
Other lunch recipes to try
- Chilli Cheese Scrambled Eggs (Ema Datshi/ Gondo Datshi)
- Savory Stuffed Crepes (Mahjouba)
- Pumpkin Filo Pie (Byrek Me Kungal)
Avocado on Toast with Spiced Peanut Crumb
- 2 ripe avocados (chopped into cubes)
- 1/2 lemon (juiced)
- 2 tbsp roasted peanuts (crushed)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne (omit if spice sensitive)
- 2 tbsp parsley (chopped)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Sourdough bread (to serve)
- Pour lemon juice over cubed avocado and set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, crush the peanuts and mix with spices.
- Place marinated avocado on top of a slice of sourdough bread. Top with peanut spice mix and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Did you make this recipe? We’d love to know! Tell us how it went in the comments below or tag us (@gourmetvegetarians) in your photos on Instagram.
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