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Garlic Bread Jamboree

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Garlic Bread Jamboree

Do you love garlic? Because I do. It’s pretty dang amazing. I send my regrets to anyone who has an allergy to garlic. My condolences. I don’t know what I would do, besides pout a lot. I grew up with my mother worshiping garlic on a daily basis, it could cure anything and often did. Her theory was that if the whole family ate garlic then garlic breath wouldn’t be a problem. She did tend to overdo it with the raw garlic sometimes. But, man, if you complained that you had a cold coming on, she’d dose you up good and the sniffles would disappear. She would actually eat multiple cloves of raw garlic on toast with a bit of olive oil. Yeah, I’d just blow her a goodnight kiss from across the room to be safe.

Roasted garlic is a thing of beauty, and a sweet mellow way to enjoy Allium Sativum (that’s MR. Garlic to you). But today, I want to introduce you to TOASTED garlic. It’s half way between the spark of raw and the lush sugar of roasted. It’s a quick and easy way to take the bite out of the beast.

Separate the cloves, but leave the skin on, toss them in a hot dry pan and shake them around until there are touches of black on every side. Let them cool down a bit, then skin and dice the cloves. This can be used as a substitute for raw garlic in any recipe where you want to tone down the garlickiness or a sub for roasted garlic if you don’t have an extra 45 minutes.

One of the fastest ways to enjoy the toasty loveliness is to mix it up with some softened unsalted butter, freshly grated parmesan cheese and salt to taste. Slather it on the crustiest bread you can find, give it a fresh grind of black pepper and slide it under the broiler for about 10 minutes until it is golden and bubbly.

The best dance partner for this crusty loaf is a saucy tomato of a dish like spaghetti and meatballs, or chicken with a tomato pesto sauce on polenta. Dang, shouldn’t write this on an empty stomach. Good thing I’m making some tomorrow to go with lasagna!

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