Italian Garlic Bread Recipe

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens.  Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.  Garlic bread, and…garlic bread.  These are a few of my favorite things.  

Caprese Garlic Bread

What Does Caprese Mean?

The dictionary definition of caprese is a salad consisting of slices of mozzarella and tomatoes, basil, and olive oil or Italian dressing.  The word Caprese translates to “salad of Capri” in Italian, though mozzarella is not a particularly common cheese in that part of Italy.  Apparently the salad became famous in 1950s, when it was discovered by Egyptian King Farouk while on vacation.  Who doesn’t go to Italy and get inspired by the food?  Not even kings.

Caprese Garlic Bread

Caprese Sandwich Meets Garlic Bread

A caprese sandwich is the same combo, but sandwiched in between pieces of bread.  And Caprese garlic bread is an open-faced marriage of garlic bread, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, basil, here with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or vinegar. 

Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic glaze is balsamic vinegar that has been reduced until it is thickened and concentrated, with even more of that rich sweet-tart flavor that is characteristic of balsamic vinegar.  Sometimes a sweetener is added, like honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar.  The best balsamic glazes are made from balsamic vinegar from Moderna, Italy, with nothing added.  If yours does have a sweetener, make sure it’s not high fructose corn syrup.

How to Make Balsamic Glaze

The only thing you need to do to make balsamic glaze is to place twice the amount of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan as you want to have in the end, and cook it over low heat until it reduces by half.  If you want to add a pinch of sugar to enhance the sweetness you can, but I prefer to leave it as is.  Try and find real balsamic vinegar from Moderna.

Caprese Garlic Bread

How to Use Balsamic Glaze

Balsamic Glaze can be drizzled over pretty much anything plain or Italian.  That’s probably an oversimplification and an overstatement, but once you try it you will be thinking of all kinds of ways to incorporate it into your meals.  It’s great drizzled over cheese, fish, chicken, pork, beef, crostini and bruschetta, and for sure Caprese salad.

How to Make Caprese Garlic Bread

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Halve the baguette crosswise, then slice each one in half horizontally lengthwise.  In a small bowl, blend together the butter, garlic, and parsley, salt and pepper. Spread on the baguettes and bake until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until reduced by half, about 8 minutes, unless you are using the balsamic glaze.  

Top the toasted baguette with the tomato slices and the mozzarella and bake until cheese melts and starts to turn brown in spots, about 8 minutes.  

Caprese Garlic Bread

Drizzle the garlic bread with the balsamic glaze.

Caprese Garlic Bread

Sprinkle with the basil.

Caprese Garlic Bread

Season lightly with salt and pepper and slice into pieces while still warm.

Caprese Garlic Bread

Caprese Garlic Bread is an open-faced marriage of garlic bread, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, basil, with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

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Caprese Garlic Bread

An open-faced marriage of garlic bread, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, basil, with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread (baguette)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (or 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze)
  • ½ pound sliced fresh mozzarella
  • 3 plum tomatoes , corned and sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Halve the baguette crosswise, then slice each one in half horizontally lengthwise. Place the bread cut side up on a large baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, blend together the butter, garlic, and parsley, salt and pepper. Spread on the baguettes and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until reduced by half, about 8 minutes, unless you are using the glaze. If you are using the glaze, no need to reduce it. Let cool.
  • Top the toasted baguette with the tomato slices and the mozzarella and bake until cheese melts and starts to turn brown in spots, about 8 minutes.
  • Drizzle the garlic bread with the balsamic glaze, sprinkle with the basil, season lightly with salt and pepper and slice into pieces while still warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1095IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 235mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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