Garlic bread and I go way back.
(Want to skip this and go straight to the recipe? Click here!)
When I was growing up, every special occasion was celebrated by me and my family members getting dolled up, and heading out to our local Italian restaurant, Fritelli’s. (My parents were friends with the owner, which always helps!)
It was a lovely little tradition. The place was like a hidden gem – The entrance was only a small doorway, which during the day was hidden by bouquets of flowers from the florist next door. Then at night, the lights came on, and as if from nowhere, almost by magic, the doors opened into the lovely restaurant. It had a very kitschy feel to it – stencilled grape vines on the wall, and there may have even been plastic grapes draped around the place too .. Though we last went there a long time ago, so I can’t be sure!
I was a fussy child. So I would always order plain pasta (no “green bits”! – herbs!) , and garlic bread (my how things have changed). But no matter what was ordered, it was always a lovely night out with my family, filled with conversation and jokes…
This also happened to be the place where I told my first “inappropriate” joke, at about age 8. Now, at the time, I thought it was all perfectly innocent, but my parents shocked, laughing faces are still etched into my memory from that night. Are you ready? It may be a little rusty.. It’s been many years since I last told it… Ahem..
“One day, three men decided to take their wives out for a nice romantic meal.
The first man, trying to be sweet, says “Can you pass me the honey, honey?”
The second says lovingly, “Pass me the sugar, my sugar?”
And the third looks at his wife, and says .. “Pass me the milk – you cow!”
… Now , imagine that being said by a cute little tyke, and you’ll get the picture!
I got a bit side tracked there.. back to the topic at hand! Garlic bread! Now, this is one of those foods which people tend to go quite crazy over. Every time I make it for my family, or if it’s ordered on a meal out, it’s always one of the first things to go. But now that I’ve adopted a healthier way of eating, the idea of a heavily butter-laden dish lacks all appeal to me!
So when my partner came down with a cold one day, and requested garlic bread to help him get better (Garlic is a fabulous immune-system-booster, and works wonders to fight the common cold) I thought it was about time I came up with a solution we could both enjoy!
Now, this isn’t your typical buttery, greasy, oil-ridden dish. This is very garlicky, creamy, rich, and very satisfying. For those who want a more “traditional” taste, you could always add a little butter or oil to the recipe – but I’ve never found it needs it. Try it, and let me know what you think! ♥
( Can you remember your first “Inappropriate” joke? ) 😀
Healthy Garlic Bread
By May 19, 2013Published:
- Yield: 2 small baquettes, or 1 large (4-6 Servings)
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 40 mins
- Ready In: 50 mins
Easy recipe for healthy garlic bread! Yum!
- 1 bulb Garlic, plus two extra cloves (optional)
- 50 grams Cashew nuts Soaked for at least an hour, preferably overnight, then drained and rinsed
- 50 grams Cooked Chickpeas Drained
- Pinch Salt
- 2 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 60 ml Water
- 1-2 Tbs Oil or Margarine (Optional - For more traditional flavour)
- 1-2 Baguettes Either one large, or 2 medium Baguettes
- 1 handful Fresh Parsley Roughly chopped (optional)
- A few drops Olive oil (optional)
- Now, to start this recipe off, the first step is to roast some garlic! It's very easy - Just carefully cut the top off of a bulb of garlic, place it on some tin foil, add a few drops of garlic (I literally only used about 4-5 drops of olive oil. But I'm sure it would work okay without) Then scrunch the tinfoil up around it, and bake in a hot oven for between 30-40 minutes. Check it often to make sure that it doesn't burn - Nothing worse than burnt garlic!
- Once it's roasted, it should look something like this. (A few shades lighter should work) It should then squeeze right out of it's skins. Place into a mini food processor, or a container you can use a hand-held blender in (a large food processor would be a little large for this job!)
- Next, add the chickpeas, cashews, lemon juice, and (if desired) fresh garlic to the food processor (I Love garlic, so I like to add 2 cloves of raw garlic here for extra punch. Feel free to leave that out though) Blend, adding enough of the water to make it into a smooth paste, and a pinch of salt. (Those wanting to add oil/margarine should add it now, and blend)
- I like to add a handful of chopped, fresh parsley to the "butter" here. I think it adds a nice, fresh flavour 🙂 (Recipe note - If you want to use all chickpeas, or all cashews, instead of half of each, that works just fine. I just like it with both!)
- Next, slice your baguette. You don't want to cut all the way through, about 3/4 or so should do it. Make the cuts about 2-3cm wide
- Add about a teaspoon of the "butter" in between each slice - be generous, it's worth it! (And please excuse this ugly photo. I was running out of natural light by this point!)
- Then wrap loosely in tin foil (you don't want the tin foil to touch the top of the bread, or it will stick) and bake for between 30-40 minutes, or until golden and crusty.
- If, like me, you like garlic bread, but don't like how "gooey" it can be - Do what I do. Slice the baguette into 2-3cm slices, coat with the garlic "butter", and cook like this! Delicious, crunchy, garlicky bread! (Quick note - If you want to make this quickly, you can ignore the roasted garlic step, and simply use a few cloves of raw garlic. It's what I do if I'm in a rush 🙂 )
- Serve with "Get the Heck better soup" (recipe to come!), soups, pasta.. or whatever you like! Enjoy!