The mini lasagnas are in the oven. The side salad is tossed. The Pinot Grigio is on ice. Yet it feels like something’s missing from this spread. Ah, yes... garlic bread! Here, we sauté whole garlic cloves in olive oil to infuse the oil with flavor and to make the garlic tender. Then we mash everything into a paste that’s easy to spread onto the loaf. Add a few seasonings, bake for a few minutes and you’ve got one flavor-packed side to round out your Italian feast.
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Time: Start to Finish: 30 minutes
1 loaf of bread (such as baguette or ciabatta), cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the loaf halves side by side on the baking sheet.
3. In a small pot, heat the olive oil, butter and garlic over low heat until the garlic is very tender and the oil is fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Use a fork to mash the garlic cloves into the oil, forming a loose paste. Season with the salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes.
5. Spoon the garlic paste (along with any remaining oil-butter mixture) evenly on the cut side of the bread. Garnish with an even sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, if using.
6. Bake until the bread is fragrant, golden brown and toasty, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.