…and the award for Best Supporting Side Dish in the Pasta category goes to GARLIC BREAD EXTRAORDINAIRE!👏👏👏 (The crowd goes wild!)
I make a lot of pasta recipes. Pasta works great with everything from ground beef to shrimp to bacon to just veggies. Served hot or served cold, it’s all good. However, there’s more to dinner than just one dish, regardless of how good that dish maybe! It only takes a basket of warm garlic bread to turn a bowl of pasta into a real meal. Of course, now that I think about it, almost all main courses taste better when served with garlic bread. That’s why I wanted to share one of my earliest and most favorite easy/peasy recipes – my Garlic Bread Extraordinaire.
This recipe earns its highfalutin (and, yes – that’s an actual word!) name for several reasons. First, it’s super easy! It starts with a store-bought baguette or loaf of French bread. The topping gets its zing from fresh garlic, and dried herbs and seasonings provide the other delicious flavors. Softened butter is a given.
The “secret” ingredient
Then, the secret ingredient, drumroll please 🥁 🥁 🥁 🥁, MAYONNAISE is added! Oh ya! Good ole mayo is what takes ordinary garlic bread to extraordinary garlic bread. It has a slightly tangy zing that pairs perfectly with the zippiness of the fresh garlic and dried herbs. It is one of the best flavor combos ever invented! On a side note, next time you make a grilled cheese sandwich, try mayo instead of butter – you’ll love how beautifully golden brown the bread gets. When you combine butter with mayo, like in this recipe, it brings out the best qualities of both products.
Hack for quick softened butter
As mentioned, the butter must be soft (room temperature) for easy combining with the garlic and herbs. It takes butter about 20 minutes on the counter to lose its chill. If you’re in a hurry, the hack is to cut up the butter in small cubes. It will soften much quicker in small pieces. Fresh garlic is key to the success of this recipe.
Hacks for fresh garlic
To maximize the garlic flavor, I recommend grating it with a veggie zester or crushing it with a garlic press. If you have neither tool at your disposal, as finely as possible, mince the garlic with a knife. Now, if fresh garlic is not available, you can use garlic powder or garlic salt. While it won’t have the same impact as fresh garlic, it will still be wonderful. Please see the recipe notes for the conversion ratio.
Zhoosh it up!
I have tried a wide variety of dried herbs, and the best combination is ground sage, crushed oregano, and salt. However, basil and rosemary are also good. If you want to get fancy (and have the time to do the additional prep), zhoosh up the topping using fresh herbs instead of dried. If you like heat, try adding a sprinkle of cayenne or crushed red pepper.
Mix the butter, mayo, garlic, and herbs in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Slice the baguette and spread the butter mixture on the slices.
Place the slices on a baking sheet/pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up).
The bread goes under the broiler for 1-3 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Do NOT close the oven door completely. Do NOT walk away from the oven. It takes less than a minute for the bread will go from perfect to blackened. (This would be the voice of experience speaking.)
The beauty of this bread is that you can get the bread prepped in advance, and 5 minutes before you are ready to eat, pop the pan under the broiler. Serve immediately.
Garlic Bread ExtraordinaireCourse: Side Dish, StarterDifficulty: Easy
A blend of dried herbs, grated garlic, softened butter, mayonnaise, and a couple of minutes transforms a baguette into something extraordinary!
1 baguette (any type)
¼ cup butter/margarine (softened)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of ground or crushed sage
2 cloves garlic, minced, crushed or grated
2 teaspoons ground or crushed oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat broiler on HIGH. Slice baguette in slices or halved lengthwise and place on a baking sheet/pan lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil (for easy clean-up)
- In med bowl, combine soften butter, mayo, sage, garlic, oregano, parmesan cheese and salt & pepper. Spread evenly on bread
- Place under broiler for 1-3 minutes (watch carefully!!!) until lightly toasted
- All ingredients can be eyeballed – no need for exact measurements
- Butter: Set out on counter for 20 minutes to soften. Speed up the time by cutting the butter in cubes.
- Fresh garlic: Substitute 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon garlic salt (omit additional salt)
- Zhoosh it: Substitute fresh herbs for dried (Conversion: 1 teaspoon dried = 1 tablespoon fresh). Spice it up with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or crushed red peppers