Monday, December 1, 2008

K.I.S.S.: Light Garlic Bread

Don’t you love when a recipe is simple enough for a first grader, takes ten seconds to make, and still comes out like you’d been consulting with a cadre of Iron Chefs for 12 years? I do. It's kind of my reason for existence, besides The Office, schlocky horror novels, and clever Evite responses.

The Ridiculously Good Yet Stupefyingly Uncomplicated thing's occured a few times over the course of the blog. First there was Nigella Lawson’s Easy Pea Soup, which made me crave peas for the first time in over three decades of life. Then, there were the lassis, which I prefer to any milkshake in existence (even McDonald’s Egg Nog variety, which is the pinnacle of fast food cuisine). Finally, there was Polenta Pudding with Blueberry Topping, which was so embarrassingly facile, I almost didn’t post it.

Now, it’s Eating Well’s Light Garlic Bread. Essentially, you boil four garlic cloves, mash them in a paste with a little salt and olive oil, spread it on some bread, and bake for five minutes. The results are … well, not astounding (I like to save that word for miracles and mid-air rescues), but really, really dang good. The bread is moist where it should be, crisp where it’s not moist, and crazy-garlicky without being overwhelming. And honestly, there’s something eminently satisfying about pulverizing things with a fork. Like, “You’re no match for ME, garlic! Now, off to save some kittens from a tree! (*flies away*)

The kicker? It costs $0.80 to make, total. I don’t know why anyone would buy frozen garlic bread in the first place, but I’m pretty sure that’s a 300% savings. It makes it all the more satisfying.

So, I encourage you to embark on this mission. But if you do, a few notes:

1) Eating Well provided the nutrition data, so only the price is calculated here.

2) If you’re using a loaf of Italian bread, go with a third of it instead of half. They tend to be much larger than baguettes.

3) Seriously, a monkey could make this. You barely need thumbs.

Happy eating, folks.

Light Garlic Bread
Serves 4
Adapted from

4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 baguette or 1/3rd loaf Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise

1) Preheat oven to 450°F.

2) In very small pot or saucepan, combine garlic and juuuust enough cold water to cover it. Turn heat to low. Once water starts simmering, cook for about 3 minutes. Kill the water and drain the pot. making sure to keep the garlic.

3) In a small bowl, combine garlic, oil, and salt. Mash 'em into a paste using a fork or spoon. (This might take a few minutes.) Spread the paste on the bread, as you would butter.

4) Bake 5 minutes. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
113 calories, 2 g fat, $0.20

4 large cloves garlic: $0.16
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil: $0.04
1/4 teaspoon salt: $0.01
1/2 baguette or 1/3rd loaf Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise: $0.60
TOTAL: $0.81


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