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~ My E-Z Big Fat Greek Lemon-Pepper Garlic Bread~

IMG_2459When most people think about crispy, chewy and cheesy garlic bread, they think about eating Italian food:  lasagna, spaghetti, meatballs and/or anything with marinara sauce.  Just writing that sentence makes me want to put a pot of Noni's Sunday gravy on the stove to simmer. Recipes and methods for making Italian-style garlic bread vary from household to household, but it's the similarities that are of note.  The butter mixture always contains garlic and herbs/spices common to Italian fare:  basil, oregano, parsley, pepper and parmesan cheese!

IMG_2383Two days ago I posted ~ My Big Fat Greek Lemony-Garlic Salad Dressing + (Jeanne's Inauguration Day "Layered" Greek Salad) ~. You can find it in Categories 2 & 8, or, by clicking on the Related Article link below.  The salad dressing is made with lemon-infused olive oil, garlic and feta cheese, all classic Greek flavors. This salad is loaded with steamed shrimp too, so I serve it as a main-course, and, I either top it with homemade garlic-croutons, or, serve it with my Greek-Style garlic bread!  Read on:

A Greek salad deserves Greek-style garlic bread!

IMG_2482It just makes sense and the idea occurred to me quite by accident.  I was, of course, making the above named salad for dinner when Joe asked me to serve it with garlic bread, instead of croutons.  That sounded really good to me... until I picked up the spice jar of Italian seasoning blend.  Without hesitation I knew the flavor profile was all wrong.  Greek salad deserved Greek-style garlic bread full of classic Greek flavor.  A couple of substitutions later, I had a bread that went so well with this salad I've never felt the need to adjust the recipe even just a little bit!

6a0120a8551282970b017c3857ab10970b-320wiI use firm-textured bread to make any type of garlic bread and my favorite is the French batard, which is a shorter, plumper, slightly softer baguette.  For my Greek garlic bread, I changed my baking method too.  I simply slather the slices with the butter mixture and toast them in my toaster oven (which is not how I do it when I make traditional Italian garlic bread). This is quick, easy and a great accompaniment to any Greek salad, soup or meal!

IMG_2403For each 12-ounce batard:

4  ounces salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (1 stick)

3/4  teaspoon garlic powder

3/4  teaspoon Greek seasoning 

3/4  teaspoon lemon & pepper seasoning blend

2  tablespoons finely- and freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese*

*Note: Parmiginano-Reggiano is Italian cheese (I know that), but, Greek Feta is, simply put, not a good melting cheese.  The Parm-Regg blends into the Greek Seasonings beautifully.  Trust me!

IMG_2409~ Step 1.  Trim the ends from the batard.  Using a serrated bread knife, cut the remainder of the loaf into 16-18, 3/4"-thick slices.  I ended up with 17 today.  Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and set aside, while the butter comes to room temperature.

IMG_2414 IMG_2411~ Step 2.  In a small bowl, using a rubber spatula or an ordinary spoon, combine the butter, garlic powder, Greek seasoning blend and lemon-pepper seasoning.  Fold in the grated cheese.

Set aside for about 5 minutes, to allow the flavors to marry.  Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

IMG_2424~ Step 3.  Arrange the bread slices in disposable aluminum broiler pans, the kind with the corrugated bottoms, (any size or number of them appropriately sized to fit in your toaster oven).

~ Step 4.  Using an ordinary butter knife, slather the top of each slice of bread, including the two end pieces, with the butter mixture.

IMG_2430~ Step 5.  One pan at a time, place in the toaster oven.  I do not broil or bake this garlic bread.  I select "toast", and allow the bread to toast until the bread is golden brown on the edges and the top is bubbling and golden brown.  In my toaster oven, this takes about 5 1/2-6 minutes.  Watch carefully during the last 1 minute of toasting.  

Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes prior to serving warm:

IMG_2442My E-Z Big Fat Greek Lemon-Pepper Garlic Bread:  Recipe yields 16-18 slices of garlic bread.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; serrated bread knife; plastic wrap;  large rubber spatula or an ordinary tablespoon; disposable aluminum broiling pans w/corrugated bottoms, appropriately sized to fit in your toaster oven; toaster oven

PICT2692Cook's Note:  So, we've got Greek Salad and Greek garlic bread. Would you like to complete this Greek meal with a bowl of classic Greek soup?  You can find my recipe for ~ Greek Lemon, Egg & Orzo Soup (Avgolemono) ~ in Category 2!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013) 


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