“…spaghetti pie meant Gram’s garlic bread, which was the best thing this side–and probably the other side–of the Mississippi. Crispy crust, soft and squishy in the middle, lots of butter, and garlic you could still smell in the house the next day.” (Giant Pumpkin Suite, pg. 60)
It was high school homecoming this past weekend and Darling Daughter invited friends for dinner before the dance. We decided on a pasta bar, salad, and Gram’s Garlic Bread for the menu.
And so, the roasting of the garlic commenced. Do you do this? So easy. So versatile. So very fragrant…for days. Cut off the tippy top of a head garlic, splash liberally with olive oil, seal it in a foil packet and put it in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees or so. If you’re going to do some, you might as well do a lot—the roasted end result freezes nicely to be used later.
After it cools sufficiently, squeeze the garlicy goodness out. Very Messy. Wear gloves if you don’t enjoy eau d’garlic scent. Take that garlic yumminess—anywhere from four to twenty cloves—and whir/mash it up with a stick of softened butter. Add some garlic salt—a teaspoon or so. Gram doesn’t really measure.
Then, take a loaf of bread—Gram makes hers, of course, but I bought ciabatta at the grocery store. I will say, the more airy on the inside and crispy on the outside the better. Ciabatta is perfect. Slice it long ways unless you want to be buttering the whole day long.*
Then, take that salty, garlicy, butter mixture and spread both halves liberally. This particular rendition could’ve used more of the salty, garlicy, goodness—it would be hard to over do this Very Good Thing. An amendment to the above: use a stick and half of butter (and more garlic) if your ciabatta is large.
Put the loaf back together and slice into pieces—easier done now than when it’s hot.
Needless to say, all of this can be done well ahead of time—you can even freeze it at this stage. Wrap it up tight. Put it in the oven with your spaghetti pie or whatever you’re serving—it can heat anywhere from 30–60+ minutes. Very flexible.
I have no more pictures–it was hardly out of the oven before it was devoured. Gram would’ve been pleased.
* Also, it must be noted, this recipe is not up to Gram’s usual healthful standards, but when you put squash and spinach in your spaghetti pie like she does, it’s okay to eat white bread with lots of butter and salt Thomas says.