Festive cheese and garlic bread
Festive cheese and garlic bread 'wreath'
Everyone in our family loves garlic bread. Whenever there's a family gathering it's a pretty safe bet that delicious garlic bread will be on the menu. Often, we are at my sister's home for festive meals. She loves to cook and (thankfully) gives everyone else a rest as she's happy to prepare the entire meal but this is inevitably my own contribution.
So easy, so quick and so good
This uses one of my favorite convenience foods so it's very quick to prepare. It needs about half an hour oven time but the prep is very quick. It's ideal if the oven is already on cooking a main dish.
A great accompaniment
This can be served with almost any savory dish, and of course it's perfect for anything that has a sauce because you can use the bread to mop. Some people, or so I've heard, consider that to be 'bad manners'. I think it's essential!
(You can see a variation of this recipe here)
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 25 min
- Ready in: 35 min
- Yields: Makes one loaf
- For the loaf:
- I tube French bread dough
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 - 4 oz. cheese, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To serve:
- Salad leaves
- Tomato slices
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Remove the French bread dough from the tube and arrange into a ring on a cookie sheet.
- Using a sharp knife, make slashes around the ring - about fourteen or fifteen. Bake for 25 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix together the oil, garlic and pepper.
- Remove the cooked bread from the oven and cut the slashes into slits almost to the bottom of the bread.
- Using a teaspoon, spoon the oil / garlic mix into each slit. Add a slice of cheese to each and return the loaf to the oven until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble.
- Decorate with the salad leaves and tomato.
If you cook with garlic regularly, then a great garlic press is required to save your fingers from getting stinky. Garlic is wonderful but if you chop it with a knife, and then inadvertently touch your hair with your fingers, then the result will mean your carefully chosen shampoo and conditioner have been in vain.
The one from OXO is absolutely the best.
And see the cookie sheet below. It's a very curious thing that when you use black cookie sheets, there's no need to oil them before baking dough. Strange but true.
For some reason, and I've no idea why, when you use black cookie sheets there's no need to grease them when making this garlic bread. This is the one I have.
I avoid having too many kitchen gadgets because I have very little space for storage but this is essential.
You really can't go wrong with OXO products. They're well made, practical and so stylish.
Garlic is good for you
This delicious loaf looks particularly lovely as a centrepiece on a festive dinner table. But that's no reason why you can't enjoy eating it all year round.
It's not often that something that tastes delicious is actually good for us, but that has been proved to be the case with garlic.
It's reputed to be good for the blood, the stomach and it helps fight infection.
But it has one other wonderful property when the end of October comes around... garlic is also rumoured to keep vampires at bay.
Make an edible Halloween wreath
This is simplicity itself.
Make the garlic bread wreath as shown above and put it into the oven to bake - then create the following salad to place in the middle.
- Using a grater, grate some carrots into long lengths so that they appear to be orange slimy worms.
- Place them in a bowl and add a little olive oil. Mix this in and your carrot worms will seem even more slimy.
- Add about the same amount of orange juice and mix well.
- If you like, add thin slices of red pepper or pimento so you have bloodworms too.
- Add whole black olives. These are the eyeballs on which the worms will feed.
When the garlic loaf has cooled slightly, pile the worms and eyeballs into the middle of the ring. What a lovely centrepiece for your Halloween buffet party table...
© 2013 Jackie Jackson