Monday, January 5, 2009

Homemade Garlic Bread - Caprese Style

I love Garlic Bread, especially when its fresh homemade bread where I am free to indulge in the toppings that I please! A salad or a bowl of your favorite pasta is never complete unless accompanied by a few pieces of sizzling hot and cheesy Garlic bread. I try to be innovative with my toppings to bring out the variety and though Bruschetta toppings are my preferred option, this time we tried to make something similar to a Caprese salad. Inspired by the Italian traditional Caprese, I used thick tomatoes, Cheddar and Mozarella with a hint of basil as a delicate topping for our homemade Garlic Bread.

1 loaf of Italian bread or French bread
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Caprese Toppings
7-8 thickly sliced tomatoes
cheddar and mozarella cheese - shredded
** or use fresh slices of thick white Mozarella cheese
dry basil flakes (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut the bread in half, horizontally, and keep aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, just enough to warm it. Now add the minced garlic to the oil. Let it roast for about 2 minutes on low flame. Remove from heat and let it cool a little.

Then mix the butter, roasted garlic, and parsley together in a small bowl. Spread butter mixture over the the two bread halves. Place on a sturdy baking pan and Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over bread if you want. Top with the thick sliced tomatoes, sprinkle some more shredded Mozarella and Cheddar on the top, and finish with Basil flakes.

Return to oven on the highest rack. Broil on high heat for 2-3 minutes until the edges of the bread begin to toast and the cheese bubbles slightly. Do not go for more than 3 seconds as the bread can burn and brown very easily!

Remove from oven and let it cool for a minute. Now cut into 2-inch slices, or larger if you choose, and serve the piping hot Caprese-style Garlic bread with your favorite pasta or salad!

Note: You can even chop the tomatoes instead of slicing them if you want thinner pieces to serve.

Related Recipes

Indian Bruschetta (Chana Masala Bruschetta)
Cheesy Breakfast Muffins
Tomato Herb & Cheese Bread

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