Super Simple Garlic Bread Spice Mix

13 Sep

Want to make my family happy at an Italian restaurant?

Plop down that basket of garlic bread. Seriously–it’s like roadkill to vultures. As if we’re not going to have Carb-O-Rama anyway, we attack the bread like we’ve never seen food before and may never again. It’s even worse if there’s olive oil in a little dish for dipping.

I’ve tried to break this sad addiction, but nothing works. And now that my kids are well into elementary school, they know enough to have figured out that garlic bread can come with spaghetti at home, too.

The stuff in your grocer’s freezer is delicious, no doubt, and I’m not above grabbing a loaf or two if I’m making lasagna for 15 people on a holiday. It’s a time thing. But I don’t buy it just for us, because it’s disgustingly bad for us and because it takes up too much room in my freezer (this is an honest food blog, ladies and gentlemen, and there you have my confession on that one).

I’ve bought garlic bread spice mix through the mail for a long time now, mainly because the ones at the grocery store are full of salt and we get plenty of that already. The other day, though, I ran out. There was an almost-empty jar in my spice drawer and a ziti in the oven, and I will admit to you that I had a brief moment of panic before my inner Julia Child spoke up.

“Dude,” she said (Julia’s still cool), “It’s spices. How hard can it be?”

I shrugged. “Dunno. Let’s find out.”

And so I did. I took the remains of my spice jar and shook them onto a plate and got my CSI on, sifting through to see what I saw. Yellow stuff = garlic powder. Red stuff = paprika. And green stuff = Italian seasoning.

“Julia,” I said, “You still rock.”

From there, it was easy to sift together my own spices, put them into a little plastic container, and make garlic bread that was way healthier and cheaper than buying it or using a pre-made mix. I didn’t use a spice jar because my Italian seasoning is cut a little bigger than what was in the garlic bread mix I used to buy, and I didn’t think it would fit through the shaker top. So a plastic container is great–I can pinch out what I need.

Your inner Julia will be proud of this one, gang. Takes two seconds and no stove required. Ready? You need:

3 tbsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp paprika (sweet if you have a choice, but not hot)

Mix together in a resealable plastic container. To make garlic bread, slice Italian bread into one-inch-thick slices (I have used sandwich bread in a pinch, but don’t tell anybody). Lightly butter one side, sprinkle the spice mix on that, and pop it under the broiler for a minute or two butter side up, until the edges start to brown. Once that happens, pull it out. flip it over, lightly butter and spice it, and sprinkle some shredded Parmesan on top of that. Back under the broiler until the crusts brown and the cheese melt and you’re done. Don’t tell my family. You won’t stand a chance.

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