French Bread. Just the words conjure an image of romance, sunlit countryside picnics, the scent of lavender fields intermingled with the earthiness of a freshly torn piece of sustenance slathered in sweet, fresh butter.
There is no other basic necessity in life that is more Iconic than The French Bread. And that my friends is for very good reasons. What else has the aroma of such a simple gastronomic delight? Nothing. Period. What else has that crunchy, crackling exterior but soft, sumptuous, aromatic center? Absolutely Nothing. In many of my recipes, I will celebrate this staple of the French diet in various iterations, all of which I believe you will find favourable for gatherings at your family’s table. The breaking of bread….let us celebrate Life, Love or …Le Joie De Vivre.
Here is a fast way to make a highly addictive and seriously savory snack for friends to accompany cheese, a tapenade or a main course such as pasta or seafood. It is made in less than 10 minutes!
Start with an authentic crusty French bread form a boulangerie, or use my recipe on an earlier post which is quite simple! Chop the fresh rosemary and if you have a mortar and pestle, grind the rosemary further to release the essential oils. This step is really quite meaningful as the perfume of the rosemary is released as well as the flavour. Slice the french bread on a diagonal angle. Spread plenty of butter on both sides ( so the rosemary can cling better) and fresh chopped rosemary on both sides. Place the bread slices in a pan on a low to medium fire. Putting a heavy object on the bread like a cast iron pan or teakettle filled with water helps to make a great crust. When browned ( a few minutes), turn and lightly brown other side. Remove from pan and grind a touch of fresh cracked pepper on top and sprinkle with more chopped/ crushed rosemary immediately.
I could quite honestly eat this on a daily basis to supplement a main dish. I have been known to eat this exclusively while enjoying a fine red wine! If you would like to get adventurous, ad a pinch of red pepper flakes before grilling the French bread to kick up a bit!