The Ultimate Bread Basket
We don’t eat a lot of bread in our house but when we do splurge, you better believe it’s going to be on something entirely irresistible like melt-in-your-mouth homemade buttermilk biscuits, crusty Ciabatta or savory slices of Rosemary Garlic Bread from La Brea Bakery. We typically don’t even eat buns with our burgers or hotdogs, but recently we hosted a cook out for our daughter’s class and had an entire bag of hotdog buns leftover. As you know, nothing goes to waste in my kitchen so I had consider my options to make use of all those buns. I could easily have whipped up some decadent butterscotch bread pudding but quickly decided against that being the obvious choice. Instead, I decided to challenge myself and turn those sad looking buns into the ultimate bread basket! We were absolutely floored that simple little hot dog buns could be transformed into garlicky, buttery bread sticks. We feasted on these for several nights and the goat cheese marinara sauce, inspired by the one served with focaccia at Pricci, an Italian restaurant in Buckhead, just put this bread basket over the top.
The Upper Crust
You could also make this incredibly tasty appetizer or side with french bread, crusty sourdough or your favorite bread from your local bakery. Just think how incredibly amazing this goat cheese marinara would be with a rosemary loaf or an olive-crusted focaccia? The really great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a recipe at all. Depending on how much bread you’re baking up, you just need to eyeball the ingredients and use your culinary judgment. Come on, I know it’s in there.
Basically, you need equal parts of extra virgin olive oil and unsalted butter. Melt that in the microwave and sprinkle in some garlic powder, Italian seasoning, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir it all up and brush it all over your buns, the bread of course. As for the deliciously tangy dip, if you don’t have homemade Marinara sauce on hand then shame on you. Just kidding, reach for your favorite jar of pasta sauce, stir in about 1/3 to 1/2 as much goat cheese and heat it up in the microwave. It’s that simple. I even whip up a bowl anytime we have pizza night, so we can dip our crust. It’s out of this world good! You will never look at a bread basket the same way after you have a taste of this. You don’t have to make the sauce but you would be missing out a little bit. Try dipping this garlicky bread into your favorite bowl of chili for a tasty experience.
Suggested Wine Pairings
If you’re serving these as an appetizer, I would reach for a crisp bottle of bubbly. Only an acidic wine can stand up to this tangy goat cheese. A Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling would be equally refreshing on the palate. If you prefer reds, Pinot Noir is incredibly food friendly but you could also try an Italian Chianti or a red from the Northwest of Spain. Without the tangy goat cheese sauce, this garlicky buttery bread would love to be paired with a buttered oaky Chardonnay. Of course, you can’t go wrong by pairing your wine with the main course. For tips on pairing wine with food in general, check out Wine Makes the Meal or look for a specific dish in the recipe collection, where every recipe is expertly paired with complimentary wines to match.