Give Garlic Bread A Gourmet Touch With Truffle Butter

You wouldn't think there'd be a lot that could improve garlic bread. The tried-and-true trinity of fresh bread, garlic, and butter becomes special when it's toasted. The aroma alone is worthy of poetic odes. Believe it or not, there's a way to improve on the near-perfection of garlic bread by making it with truffle butter. The earthy taste of the truffles elevates any homemade garlic bread recipe into the stratosphere. If you received a jar of truffle butter as a gift or purchased some on a whim from a gourmet shop, it's time to break it out. Otherwise, purchase one of the brands of truffle butter Ina Garten recommends for enhancing everything from mashed potatoes to pasta. Or, if you're a hands-on cook, make your own compound butter, tinged with flecks of truffle. 

Whichever truffle butter you choose, all it takes is spreading a generous layer onto the cut side of a horizontally sliced loaf (or individual slices) of ciabatta, Italian bread, or French bread, sprinkling on some minced garlic, and broiling until toasted. Adding parsley is a matter of taste, but don't forget a few twists of a good salt to balance the flavors. You can up the umami even further with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Pair truffle butter garlic bread with simple dishes like pasta alfredo, cacio e pepe, or a Caesar salad. It also makes a lovely light meal by itself, with a good cheese and a glass of wine. For a rich indulgence, try it with a hearty bolognese.

Other ways to enjoy the combination of truffles and bread

After you've tasted the garlic bread, you may find yourself craving the flavor combination of truffle butter and bread. Luckily, there are other ways to combine the two. Try slathering truffle butter on some fluffy hot naan (regular, chili, or garlic) the next time you're enjoying Indian food. If you like sandwiches in the same style as many British people do, with a layer of butter on the bread, you owe it to yourself to try one with truffle butter. Thinly sliced ham is a tasty partner for truffle-buttered bread, or make a sandwich with leftover filet mignon. For a twist on the French combo of radishes, butter, and salt on bread, use truffle butter instead of plain. Cheese lovers will want to try a slathering of truffle butter on their next grilled cheese.

Truffle oil is a decent substitute if you don't have any truffle butter. It can be drizzled on garlic bread or used as a dipping oil for breadsticks or mini toasts. Keep an eye out for other truffle-based products at your local gourmet shop, such as truffle pate, which makes an amazing spread for any bread or cracker. If you're lucky enough to have a fresh truffle, don't feel like you have to save it for something over the top. Grate some onto a slice of hot, fresh bread for a simple luxury. Of course, grating it onto garlic bread would be even better.