The garlic harvest is less than a month away here in Virginia, and I thought I’d prepare by giving you a super-easy recipe for homemade garlic toast. There’s no reason to fill up your freezer with those store-bought frozen garlic bread loaves (full of unpronounceable ingredients) when this recipe takes less than 10 minutes start to finish. You can easily whip some up any time it’s needed, whether to accompany spaghetti or steak!
The first thing to know is that quality bread gives quality garlic toast. I.e., don’t waste your time toasting Wonder Bread when you could be using something with a real crumb. When I don’t have a loaf of homemade bread at the ready, I like to use sesame-topped hamburger buns from my grocery store bakery. The thickness gives a great combination of crispness (on the outside) and softness (on the inside). And the toasted sesame seeds add another layer of yumminess. Note: You can also use frozen bread to make garlic toast. No need to thaw, just slice and prepare like fresh. The result is just as good, and only takes a moment more in the toaster oven!
The next essential ingredient is the butter. I’m sure you could use margarine, but I’m telling you, people, there’s nothing quite like butter. You’re going to need 3/4 to 1 Tablespoon butter per slice of toast. Don’t skimp. An adequate quantity of butter–so it can be truly slathered on there–is paramount. It also needs to be soft, so you can mix it with the garlic. If you keep your butter on the counter in a Butter Bell like I do, you’ll have butter of exactly the right consistency. If you have to start with hard butter, melt it a bit (on the stovetop or in the microwave) so it will be mixable.
Now we need the garlic. The trick to getting plenty of garlic flavor is to press the garlic, not mince it. Pressing it releases the juices in much greater quantity. A garlic press is a very handy tool for doing this quickly, but it’s not essential. You can also use the back of a spoon to mash your (peeled) garlic cloves. I usually use 1/2 a medium garlic clove per slice of toast.
Mix the pressed garlic into your soft butter, along with a pinch of salt for each slice of toast. Now spread the garlic butter generously–lavishly–onto the top of each slice of toast. It should be at least an eighth of an inch thick. If you don’t have enough garlic butter to do this, make more! You’ll thank yourself when you taste the result.
Now slide into the toaster oven and toast for just a minute or two, until the edges of the bread are golden brown.