We love garlic, and so much of what we cook already includes garlic, so the big question for the garlic challenge was to figure out what we could make that really shone a spotlight on garlic. Sometime after the challenge theme was announced, BBC Good Food published a recipe for cheesy garlic bread wedges, and the timing couldn't be more perfect. I bookmarked it for the garlic challenge, and then got around to making it a few weeks after the challenge. (Very behind this year...)
We generally followed the recipe, since the photos that accompanied it were drool-worthy and we wanted similar results, but did make some adaptations as usual. The ingredients we used were:
- 2 ciabatta sandwich rolls ($2.50)
- 5 tbsp of butter, room temperature ($0.31)
- 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped ($0.40)
- freshly ground black pepper, dried oregano, dried parsley, red pepper flakes ($0.20)
- about 1/4 lb of Jarlsberg lite cheese, shredded ($2.21)
The cost of the garlic bread was about $5.62. We probably could have gotten less expensive bread, but we made this several days after our grocery store visit and went to the local bakery instead for some fresh ciabatta.
The process for making the garlic bread was simple, but time-consuming, especially if you don't take the butter out to warm up to room temperature until you start prepping everything else. Basically, you chop up the garlic, mix it with the seasonings, and then beat that with the room temperature butter. Shred the cheese and then combine that with the butter mixture. Spread the thick butter-cheese-garlic mixture over each half of the ciabatta all the way to the edges. Last steps are to bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes in loose foil pouches, and then open the pouches to bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Our garlic bread didn't come out quite as cheesy as the one in the BBCGF picture, as they probably used much more cheese than we did. We were happy with the results here though as the garlic flavor really came through, and it was so buttery and garlicky and delicious. In addition to the bread, the little bits of buttery cheese that fell off the ends of the bread and cooked on the foil were tasty cheese crunchies by the time the bread was done which was a nice bonus. This was actually the first time we had ever made garlic bread at home, and it was a pretty successful experiment.
Since garlic bread alone wasn't going to be a full meal, and we also needed some vegetables to offset the bread, we decided to make some pasta with a sauce full of zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and of course, lots of garlic. It was originally going to be turkey meatballs and mushrooms, but then one of my parents' friends gifted them a giant homegrown zucchini which was too big for them so they passed half of it down to us. It was seriously massive, so we decided to just swap that in for the meatballs for an unintentional Meatless Monday.
We had a ton of sauce left over after dinner, mostly thanks to the zucchini. It was a pretty good sauce and a nice garlicky accompaniment to the garlic bread, which was really the star of the night. Would definitely make that again.