Friday, October 11, 2013

The Ultimate Garlic Spread (is here!)

Folks, brace yourselves; I've found the ultimate garlic bread spread for the ultimate garlic bread!

I hereby declare my search for a garlic bread recipe over! Yes, it's that good. Three ingredients and less than 20 minutes - that's all you need.

The first time I ever had garlic bread was at a Pizza Hut restaurant as a little girl. I admit, I do have a penchant for Italian food. But still, I think garlic bread is an excellent comfort food, especially when you're generous with the cheese. You can make it in minutes, you can eat it on its own or turn it into a meal by pairing it with your favourite stew or soup. What more can you ask of a loaf of bread?

I first tried store-bought garlic spreads to make my own garlic bread (Ick!). Then I graduated to making my own spread with fresh crushed garlic, butter and parmesan, but that combination doesn't keep well, nor does it taste as good with all the butter involved.

Then I discovered Laura Vitale's garlic-parsely-olive-oil formula. Trust me - it is belissimo! It positively saturates the bread with garlicky goodness and the recipe ensures the right amount of crusty and ooey-gooey-chewiness. Plus, as always, this recipe is a winner because it takes minutes to make.

I used mini Italian loaves but any dense bread should do, like ciabatta, baguette, focaccia or even bagels. I would, however, advice against ordinary sliced bread because you do need some thickness to absorb the spread and withstand the heat to melt the cheese. I followed Laura Vitale's recipe as a guide but I made a few adjustments; I reduced the amount of garlic, upped the parsely and sped up the cooking time. I also experimented with different garnishes and herbs like red pepper flakes (Hot! Hot! Hot!), oregano (my favourite!) and fresh chopped parsely (fresh!).

Here's a final tip: double the volume for the recipe, put it in an old jam jar and stick a fun label on. The next time you're craving for some cheesy comfort food, simply head over to your fridge! (Click here to see how I used the spread in my Red and Green Pasta Stir-fry!)

Read on after the jump for the recipe.

The Ultimate Garlic Spread

1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
4 tbs coarsely chopped parsely

Blitz everything in a mixer and store in a jar. Yup, that's it!

The Ultimate Garlic Bread
1 Italian loaf
4 tbs Ultimate Garlic Spread
1 cup shredded mozzarella and cheddar
1 tbs fresh chopped parsely (optional)

Slice your loaf horizontally down the middle and spread open. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.

Spread the Ultimate Garlic Spread evenly on the bread.

Bake at 400F for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, top with cheese and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let stand for 1 minute, cut into slices, garnish with fresh-chopped parsely and serve.

Now that wasn't so hard, was it?

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