I’m calling her Toast Queen from now on
If you’re not familiar with Jessica Koslow by name, you'd recognize her food. Renowned in LA for her ricotta toast, sorrel pesto, and innovative jams, the chef and owner of Sqirl is a breakfast aficionado. A self-described “jam on toast or honey on toast kind of gal,” Koslow will reach for a thick slice of sourdough, brushed with melted butter or olive oil and toasted in the oven, then thickly spread with jam or honey and a dusting of fleur de sel. “I’m a little kid always and forever,” Koslow told me. “Give me a napkin and out the door I go. Sticky fingers and all.” Since this sounds like everything I’ve ever wanted to eat in the morning, I tasked Koslow with compiling her top five breakfast tips. Trust me, they’re keepers.
1. Evenly Butter Your Bread
Koslow told me that the best way to evenly butter bread is to melt the butter and use a brush to evenly distribute the fat on both sides of the bread. You can then plop the bread in a skillet or the oven and toast both sides to perfection. She also recommends using a butter spreader to soften butter, as it’s a “total game changer.”
2. Make a Spread for Toast
Speaking of toast (should we just call Koslow Toast Queen for now on? I know I would want that title), she’s got a killer spread that any grilled bread would be lucky to know. Koslow suggests whisking together tahini and honey for a sweet and nutty alternative to plain old peanut butter. “Drizzle it on your toast to turn it from basic bread to breakfast favorite,” she said.
3. Use Quality Pans
Many chefs wax poetic about cast iron skillets, but for breakfast, Koslow likes another pan. “I always fry my eggs and sear my French toast in heavy quality steel pans that come coated with beeswax,” she told me, explaining that these are pretty much the only pans used at Sqirl. “They stay non-stick when cared for and last a long time.”
4. Don’t Sleep on Frozen Fruit
While the Sqirl team uses only fresh fruit for their famous jams, Koslow isn’t a snob when it comes to the frozen stuff. Frozen fruit is a “wonderful, economical choice” for smoothies, scones, cakes, or even to make a quick fruit compote for pancakes or waffles, she said.
5. Texture is King
“I find myself adding granola or cereal to porridge and oatmeal,” Koslow said. That crunchy texture can also be achieved with toasted nuts and seeds, and for chewiness there’s always chopped dried fruit like apricots or dates (a handful of dried sour cherries or raisins work as well). “A little goes a long way and brings another sensory experience to breakfast,” she said.