Roasted Garlic Bread

“It’s the simple pleasures….”

I celebrated another birthday this year, and unlike many people, I don’t mind that I did. While I am not thrilled that my metabolism is slowing down and that aches tend to last longer, I am grateful for the maturing process which only aging and experience can bring. One gets to know oneself better as time goes on, and that’s a good thing, in my opinion, because only then can you really embrace your strengths, recognize and work on your weaknesses, and allow yourself to be the best version of yourself.

My husband wanted to know what I wanted to do for my birthday this weekend, because we have had a particularly stressful couple of weeks with a funeral and a graduation and time at a hospital with a dear friend. As I thought about what I wanted, I realized I simply wanted to hang with my family, particularly to have a good meal and to watch a movie while all three of my children were actually with me on my birthday for the first time in a few years.

Now, both cooking and watching a movie are not my husband’s ideas of a good time, but as a loving husband, he dutifully grilled the zucchini and chicken I prepared and sat through a movie. My gift to him for being kind enough to grill for me was to figure out a starch to go with the meal. Since I do have that slowing-down metabolism, I tend to eat less carbs these days, but I know that my husband thinks a meal is not complete without bread.

So, I decided I’d make garlic bread, but I didn’t want to use traditional white bread or the large amounts of butter. As I thought about garlic bread, I realized what I love best is the garlic so it occurred to me that garlic should be the the “showpiece” of garlic bread as opposed to the minced versions usually made, which led me to the idea of roasting the garlic and making a garlic bread similar to bruschetta which used olive oil, tomatoes and basil, only I used a gluten free whole grain bread instead.

The roasted garlic bread was ridiculously easy to make and added a nice dimension to the grilled dinner!

Roasted Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

peeled garlic cloves

olive oil

whole grain bread (gluten free or whole wheat or multi-grain)

fresh basil

grape tomatoes (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Mix a couple of cups of peeled garlic cloves (how much you need depends on how many slices of bread you are making; also if you buy them already peeled, it makes life easier) with just enough olive oil to coat them, and roast them in the oven, turning them every five minutes until the garlic has darkened in color. (Usually this only takes ten to 15 minutes.)
  3. Remove the garlic from the oven and reduce the oven to 350 degrees. Let the garlic cool for a few minutes.
  4. While the garlic is cooling, slice your whole grain bread (whether gluten free or not) into thin slices (unless you bought the already sliced version, in which case you’re set) and place the slices on a cookie sheet or shallow pan.
  5. Chop up a couple of cups of fresh basil into small sprinkle-able pieces (how much you need depends on how many slices of bread you are making; also, if you don’t have fresh basil, you can also use dried basil, but you’d only need a couple of teaspoons then).
  6. Slice the roasted garlic into thin slices and sprinkle evenly among all the bread slices. Then sprinkle the basil. (Optional: slice grape tomatoes into think slices and sprinkle in between the garlic before sprinkling the basil.)
  7. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over each bread.
  8. Bake in the reduced-heat oven for five to ten minutes until the bread is toasted.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy.
  10. Leftovers keep well in the fridge. Simply reheat in the oven for a few minutes for crispy bread or microwave for a few seconds if you simply want it warm.
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