A lot of work goes into main dishes. For the most part, I tend to focus on the protein portion of our meals, but when possible, I like to double – even triple up on items that can be put on the grill for any given meal. I’ve already talked about the asparagus that can be done on the grill so today I’ll talk about what is probably the most popular non-meat grillable in the house – my soon to be famous, Super Garlic Toast.
Normally, I’m not so boastful about my offerings, but this one is so money – and it doesn’t even know it. But you will. And the best part about it is that it is so versatile. Missing a few ingredients? No problem, substitute or leave them out. This is bread; it does okay on its own, but trust me, once you try this the right way, it will be tough to go back.
For the most part, the secret here is fresh ingredients (aside from the bread) and the whole thing hinges on something the TV cooks call compound butter (which means butter mixed with stuff). I like to make more than I need and stash the rest in the fridge for a later date. That way it’s even quicker the second time you use it. The best part about this is the potential for creativity. Follow my recipe if you want to, but by all means, wander off the path whenever you feel like it.
To make your own compound butter, mix the following:
4 tbsp softened butter
3 cloves of minced garlic
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh black pepper
½ tsp fresh minced basil
½ tsp fresh minced parsley
Anything else you want.
All that’s left is to spread it on some bread and toast it. Of course, since this is being featured in the From the Patio category, I will be grilling it and giving a little back story on the bread.
You might remember the ciabatta bread from the steak sandwiches last week. Well, we got a good deal on a rather large bag of them and we didn’t have time to use the leftovers for a bit longer than I’m comfortable with. They sat there on the counter, sad and neglected. Then, during the long Memorial Day weekend, we needed a canvas for some chicken salad that Shaina had put together. The ciabatta was a natural choice, but you can feel free to use anything you want. If I’m planning ahead for this, I usually choose Texas Toast, a nice thick yellow bread that is quite hardy and goes well with steaks and pasta. Or you can use an Italian loaf for a softer side. Most importantly, just go with what you like.
For this operation I ended up slicing the ciabatta rolls the short way (like a loaf) and discarding the heels. Then I spread the mixture on both sides and took them out to the grill.
This is where it gets a little tricky. The cook times are extremely variable, so do yourself a favor and stay close. The first question you need to ask yourself is “what type of toast do I want?” Do you want a crusty crunchy toast to go with a salad? If so, go for low heat and a long cooking time. Do you want a crispy yet soft bread to go with pasta? Then go for high heat and a fast grill time. Try to flip and turn three times to create a nice cross hatch pattern because, even at home, presentation matters.
This is a perfect procedure to carry out while you have your main meat item cooked and resting in foil. I always try to do it last because it tastes best fresh and cools off quickly. So, give it a try this summer and when you do, make some extra butter for next time because once you put Super Toast on the table, there’s no going back.