Roasted Garlic Parmesan Toast

This is a post about toast. A toast post.

I realize that you probably think toast is boring. Dry. Crumb-y. Crummy? Heck, I thought the same thing. But this toast is a delicacy! It puts regular old garlic bread to shame. To shame! This is a recipe you’re gonna want to make with every Italian meal you eat from this point forward. And it’s almost too simple to even be called a recipe. It’s more like a suggestion. An inspired idea that I highly recommend. Whatever. Just trust me and make it!

Part of the incredibleness of this toast may be the bread itself. I can’t vouche for other bread, but I’m guessing that your favorite crusty french bread will do just fine if you’re not up for bread baking. But I really hope you are up for it, because there’s nothing more satisfying than slicing into a piping hot loaf of homemade whole wheat bread.

Maybe it’s the comfort of knowing that it contains only five simple ingredients, none of which are additives, preservatives, or processed ingredients. But I think the biggest reason I love baking my own bread is because of what I call ‘the Little House on the Prairie factor’. I like to pretend I’m Ma kneading bread dough in a log cabin with a hot pot of stew over the fire while the girls play with their corn husk dolls.

You do that, too, right? I figured.

I’m fairly certain that everything in the world tastes better when covered in smashed up roasted garlic. Maybe even mustard greens (*shudder*). Still, I think I’ll let you test that one out. I’m sticking with bread for now. Oh, ALSO – if you’re feeling extra experimental, roast some halved cherry tomatoes along with your garlic and pile them on top of the finished product. Let me know how that goes, because I’m almost as obsessed with roasted tomatoes as I am with roasted garlic.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Toast

Basic Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups warm water
1 T yeast
1 T olive oil
1 T honey or agave
2 t salt
5 – 5.5 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat)

For the toast you will need:
1 head roasted garlic (or more, 1 head will cover 2 pieces of toast)
Butter or alternative
Olive oil, for drizzling
Parmesan, for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt, optional

Instructions:
1. Dissove yeast and honey in warm water in a large bowl; allow yeast to proof (or foam) for about 10 minutes.

2. Add salt, oil, and 3 cups flour; beat for 2 minutes. Then, stir in the remaining 2 cups flour to form a stiff dough.

3. Knead until smooth and elastic; about 10 minutes (this is when you can pretend to be Ma).

4. Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to coat all sides, cover and let rise until doubled.

5. Shape dough into a large loaf and place in an oiled bread pan. Let rise for about a half hour in a warm place – preferably a place your puppy can’t get to! Thankfully, I caught this sneaky girl sniffing before she had a chance to get a taste.

6. Cut diagonal gashes on top of loaf and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. You can roast the garlic at this time too.

7. To roast the garlic, cut the top off of the head so the raw end of each clove is exposed. Cover the exposed ends in olive oil and wrap the entire head in aluminum foil. Roast for about 45 minutes until completely soft. I like to roast several heads at a time because it disappears quickly!

8. After the garlic has cooled, squeeze all of the soft cloves into a container and mash with a potato masher or a fork until it forms a slightly chunky spread, or longer if you want it to be completely smooth.

9. After the bread has cooled for about 15 – 20 minutes, cut into slices. Turn a frying pan or a griddle on high heat and lightly butter each side of the slice of bread. Grill until each side is crisp and golden.

10. Spread the smashed garlic onto the toast and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan, pepper, and salt, if desired. Eat slowly and savor every delicious bite.

This recipe came about by chance (or fate) last Sunday after I had baked bread and roasted some garlic for tomato sauce.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Sunday cooking I got the munchies and put the toast together on a whim…and was completely blown away. My life will never be the same.

I tend to exaggerate at times. This is not one of those times. You’re looking at life-changing toast.

Roasted, toasted, posted. BOOM.

Oh, one last thing! I can’t feature a picture of my girl puppy without also featuring one of my boy puppy. That would be favoritism. What kind of mother do you think I am?

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

I’m really hoping you’re not tired of soup yet. And even if you are, I’m confident that one spoonful of this stuff would change your mind. Roasting the vegetables is what makes the flavor really special, so don’t you dare throw raw tomatoes in a pot of boiling water and expect delicious results. Forty minutes of roasting is totally worth your time…promise!

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

7 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic
Olive oil
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
4 – 5 medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup unsweetened Silk creamer (or regular cream)
1 – 2 T freshly chopped basil

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop tomatoes and onions into 1-inch slices and arrange evenly on a lined baking sheet (the first time, I made the mistake of not lining my pan and spent 20 minutes scrubbing crusted tomato juice. Parchment paper is your friend and makes for easy clean up!). Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and black pepper on top.

2. Cut the bottom off an entire head of garlic. This is sometimes tricky, and unfortunately I have no tips on how to make this easier! Thankfully, you just wrap the whole head in foil and stick in any cloves that may have fallen off. Drizzle olive oil on the raw, exposed ends of the garlic.

Wrap foil over the top of the garlic (it should be completely wrapped up, meaning there should be only foil and no visible garlic).

3. Roast tomatoes, onions, and garlic for about 30 – 40 minutes, until cooked thoroughly the edges become slightly crispy. Keep an eye on everything because they will sometimes cook at different rates. The garlic will generally take the longest – it should be completely soft and the color very dull and ugly.

4. Bring stock to a boil in large pot and then turn down to simmer. In a separate pot, gently boil the potatoes until soft.

5. After it’s cooled, squeeze the now soft garlic cloves into the blender with the tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. The blender should be a bit less than three-quarters full of veggies. Ladle out some of your simmering stock into the blender to cover the veggies and blend until smooth. Pour the smooth mixture back in with the rest of the stock. Repeat the blending process again until all the tomatoes, onion, and potatoes are smooth.

6. Bring soup back to a simmer and add cream, basil, and salt, if necessary. Bring to low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Enjoy!

I served this with Olive Oil Focaccia cut into breadsticks. Absolutely scrumptious!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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