There are times when, in order to have a healthy relationship, one must first leave it. Then, and only then, can an improved, a mature relationship be forged.
And so it is with garlic bread. Previously, I had been serving it large amounts of pasta. And a small amount of vegetables. It became too much. Too much carbohydrates. Too much garlic. Too much competition with the rest of the meal. Eventually, the bread fell off the menu and out of my life.
Recently, I started reminiscing about this former flame, craving its warmth and toasty garlicky goodness. It had been years since we last saw each other, but I knew it was time to see each other again.
A reunion was hastily put together, but this time, no pasta would welcome its return. It would be a pleasure to be enjoyed in and of itself. Not an afterthought to an already delicious meal. But a shiny star in its own right. A shiny herb-laden, garlicky star. With perhaps some vegetables served on the side. Or perhaps not.
I do not employ a stingy hand in making this bread. It is an abundance, an excess of herbs and garlic and butter. A sprinkling of spices is mixed in as well to perk up the flavors of the basil, parsley, scallions, and the garlic. A bit of lemon acts as a brightener.
The excess becomes apparent while eating, as leaves of basil or pieces of scallion may fall of in the process. If that happens, just pick them up, put them back, and enjoy the glorious, buttery exuberance of taste. Maybe my relationship with garlic bread is not actually mature, but that is neither here nor there. I will happily rollick in the gluttony.
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup packed torn basil leaves
1 cup parsley
2 chopped scallions
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 loaf crusty bread - I used a baton of sourdough because I'm obsessed with sourdough bread
Heat oven to 375.
In a small bowl, mix cayenne, sumac, black pepper, salt, smoked paprika, and lemon zest. In a big bowl, mix together the basil, parsley, scallions and garlic. Sprinkle the seasonings over the herb mixture and toss. In another big bowl, mix together softened butter, yogurt and lemon juice. Fold the herbs and seasonings into the butter. It may seem unlikely that the butter will take in all those herbs, but it will. Oh it will.
Slice the bread lengthwise and slather the herb garlic butter over the entire thing. Bake 8-10 minutes, until toasty and butter has melted into the bread.