Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Perfect Side Dish: Cheesy Toast

As the primary "get dinner on the table" person for our family, I often find myself tossing dinner together after a long day of work.  And as much as I try, I've never been a very good planner.  I'm more of a last-minute kind of guy.  It's not uncommon for me to roll in the door at 6pm, kiss my wife hello, sit with my infant daughter for a few minutes, then actually start dinner around 6:30 or 7.  And let's face it... By that time, I'm hungry, tired, cranky, and I just want to get it done and sit down.

One of my go-to side dishes (for the starch component of the meal) is Cheesy Toast.  I find I turn to this most when the meal is something like a soup or a stew or saucy dish that requires a little crunch on the side and I don't feel like waiting the 10-20 minutes for rice, pasta, or potatoes to cook.  It's dead simple and incredibly easy.  Plus, I usually have the ingredients hanging around (some crusty bread, a block of parmesan cheese, some olive oil, salt, and pepper).

I hope you'll forgive the fact that I don't have a finished photo.  It seems I remembered to snap a pic before the bread went into the oven but I was too much in a hurry to chow-down to get the after pic.  Nonetheless, I assure was tasty, delicious, and quite pretty to look at.

And so, the recipe...

Cheesy Toast

Sliced Crusty, Rustic, or Italian Bread
Finely grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff works best)
olive oil
salt & pepper

1) Heat your oven to 350 degrees
2) Lay the bread slices out on a sheet tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
3) Sprinkle the bread lightly with salt and pepper.
4) Cover each bread slice liberally with cheese.
5) Bake until the tops begin to turn golden-brown and the bread is crispy throughout.

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