I used a precooked Boboli crust, because, well, I don’t make a habit of making pizza from scratch on a weeknight. But if you have some dough in your refrigerator or freezer or buy some at the store and want to roll it out and bake it first, go right ahead. I pressed four cloves’ worth of garlic to go on that Boboli crust (eight times more than the original recipe called for), along with most of the other ingredients, save the avocado. The aroma as it baked drew more than one salivating co-worker into our Food Lab, too.
When it came out, I topped it with the avocado slices, squeezed the lemon over everything and finished it with a sprinkling of crushed red-pepper flakes, salt and pepper. It tasted like the best avocado toast ever, until I dipped a slice in a side dish of salsa verde, and then it became something else entirely wonderful.
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Adapted from “Bosh!: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants,” by Henry David Firth and Ian Theasby (William Morrow, May 2018).
1 large pre-baked pizza crust, such as Boboli brand
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 fresh red chile pepper, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (see NOTE)
½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped, plus some whole leaves for garnish
½ teaspoon sea salt
Flesh from 2 avocados, cut into ¼ -inch slices
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salsa verde, for dipping (optional)
Place a pizza stone or rimmed baking sheet on the middle oven rack; preheat to 450 degrees.
Brush the surface of the pizza crust with the oil. Scatter the garlic and most of the chile pepper slices (reserving a few for garnish) over the top, plus the chopped cilantro and ¼ teaspoon of the salt.
Use a pizza peel or cake lifter to transfer the crust to the oven; bake (on the pizza stone or baking sheet) until the edges of the crust are browned and the garlic is very fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, then top with the sliced avocados, a sprinkling of lemon juice, the crushed red pepper flakes, the black pepper, the cilantro leaves and the reserved chile pepper slices. Drizzle with a little more oil, if desired.
Cut into pieces and serve with the salsa verde, for dipping, if desired.
NOTE: If you want a milder flavor, remove the seeds from the chile before using.
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