Do you ever just have appetizers when you go out for dinner? We frequently do. One of our favorite things to do is order a bunch of appetizers and split them. I’ve always thought many restaurants, especially chain restaurants, have much better appetizers than entrees. That’s how I first came across a version of this bread. Cheese bread is pretty boring at most places, but it’s amazing at Bahama Breeze. They’ve taken it to a new level with ripe tomatoes and fresh basil. You can find their recipe, called roasted Cuban bread here. For my version of their bread, I’ve simplified it. I omitted a few ingredients and added lots of fresh mozzarella. I make this with seedy Italian bread, but you can use Cuban (if you can find it in your area) or French bread.
Basil Garlic Cheese Bread
1 loaf Italian Bread
1/2 lb thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
1 cup basil leaves
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced very fine
butter or olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Marinara Sauce for dipping (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut bread in half and brush olive oil or butter on bread. Add garlic, then basil leaves, cheese and tomatoes. Sprinkle a little salt on top of tomatoes. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
2. Bake at 450 degrees until cheese has melted. Serve alone or with marinara sauce.
Want more tasty Italian treats? Check out these 13 light pizza recipes!