There are some typical barbeque side dishes which always seem to make an appearance at cookouts, and those include potato salad which is prized for its creamy texture, corn on the cob which goes equally well with meat, poultry or fish, various salad recipes, and chips with dips. If you are looking for something new though, you might wish to consider these Italian baguette slices. They go nicely alongside any kind of meat or fish, or if your main dish is taking longer than you think and people are starting to get hungry, you could offer these ahead of the main dish as an appetizer. They are best served hot but if they cool down a bit they will still be very tasty. These are nice for a buffet or any kind of cookout. The whole family will love them and one slice is never enough.
Authentic Flavors of Italy
Italian food is one of the best and tastiest cuisines anywhere, and this recipe brings various Italian flavors together for a truly delicious result. The baguette is first brushed with a delicious oil mixture. The oil is flavored with red pepper flakes and salt, as well as your choice of oregano or basil. This helps to crisp up the bread when it is on the grill. Use extra-virgin olive oil, for its delicate taste, or regular olive oil if that is all you have. When the bread has crisped up, it is time to rub the raw garlic over the crispy surface. If you try to do this when the bread is not yet crispy, it will not rub off, so ensure the bread is crisp before you begin.
Next add the tomato and mozzarella. You may use tomato slices or, if you prefer, you can dice the tomato instead. The mozzarella can be swapped for provolone if you want. Either of these will melt nicely on the baguette and yield a tasty result. Put the cover of the barbeque down if it has a cover, to seal in the heat and cook the toppings faster, or if it does not have a cover you can do without it. Keep an eye on this while it cooks because you do not want to burn your carefully prepared side dish now.
The cheese will soon begin to melt and then it is time to serve this wonderful side dish. It will be smelling fantastic by this point too. Drizzle the rest of the flavored oil over the bread and add another pinch of salt if you want. Cut the baguette into slices and serve them right away. These are picked up and eaten with the fingers but the use of oil makes them a bit messy so ensure everyone has napkins.
The Appeal of Grilled Bread
Not only does this make a change from your usual potato salad or regular crusty buns, but it offers a unique flavor and is sure to complement whichever kind of meat or fish you are barbequing, whether that is swordfish, strips steaks, chicken drumsticks or something else. These baguette slices smell wonderful while they are cooking and they are also quick and easy to prepare, so if you want to make more you can quickly rustle up a second batch.
- ½ baguette, halved lengthwise
- 1 halved tomato, in ¼ inch slices or diced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ lb sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese
- 1 halved garlic clove
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or basil
- Salt, as needed
- Preheat the barbeque to medium-high.
- Mix the red pepper flakes, oregano or basil, and a pinch of salt into the olive oil.
- Brush some of this oil over the cut sides of the baguette slices.
- Barbeque cut side down for 4 minutes or until crisp.
- Rub the garlic over the grilled sides and top with the tomato slices, a pinch of salt and the mozzarella.
- Barbeque, covered, cheese side up, for 4 minutes or until the mozzarella melts.
- Drizzle the rest of the oil on top and cut into pieces.
- Serve hot alongside barbequed meat or fish.
Tomatoes combine beautifully with cheese, herbs, olive oil and crispy baguette bread. The garlic adds even more flavor to this fantastic side dish. The smoke from the barbeque will infuse the bread, lending the most incredible aroma and taste to this side dish. Bite into this Italian baguette side dish and first you will experience a crisp crunch, followed by the melted cheese, tomatoes and other Italian flavors sending your taste buds into orbit. In the photo the tomatoes are diced but they can be sliced instead to make this dish. Make the slices as large or small as you want, depending how hungry everyone is.
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