Cheesy Garlic-Herb Bread

CATEGORIES: Garlic Bread, Italian, Other

You know how you read everywhere to never, ever put anything in your ear? Well, have you ever had an ear infection as an adult? It makes that rule really, really tempting to break, especially when your ear is all plugged up, even after antibiotics, steroids, yawning, plugging your nose and blowing, and jumping up and down with your ear pointed up to the ceiling. Last week, I started reading online for ideas to help pop my ear and lots of people were recommending heating a pressed fresh clove of garlic in some extra virgin olive oil. So I tried it. It might have helped a little, but mostly, I just wanted to lick myself because I smelled like an Italian restaurant. I ended up using the rest of the garlic olive oil for dipping some Ciabatta bread, which didn’t help my ear, but it did make me think of different ways I could use garlic olive oil that didn’t involve my orifices.

I’m going to include lots of variations with this recipe, but for pictures, I’m using pesto because that is what I was craving at the time. Oh, and because my garden has not failed, despite my very best efforts, and I had a whole bunch of basil I needed to use up.

You’ll need a loaf of crusty bread (a good loaf of sourdough works great), about 1/2 c. of pesto, and 8 ounces of mozzarella.

Preheat your oven to 350.  Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and then place the bread on top of the foil. Slice the bread every 1 1/2 inches, not quite through to the bottom.

Flip it around so the cuts are horizontal and then slice the bread again, 1 1/2″ wide, not through to the bottom, so you have 1 1/2″ pieces that are still attached at the bottom of the loaf of bread.

Spread the pesto in between the cracks. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you can even just spread it on one direction of cuts (as opposed to doing it on all four sides of each little piece) because it will soak in.

Then gently stuff the cheese into the cracks. Brush a little pesto on top and sprinkle with a little additional cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top of the bread is crispy. The top of the bread should fan out, kind of like an Awesome Blossom (extra awesome). Allow to stand for about 5 minutes and then serve. With a fork, some wet wipes, and a little bit of guilt.



  1. Ok the bread looks AMAZING! I am totally going to make that probably tonight…but I really want to share a tip for the ear situation..last year my ear stayed plugged like that for 9 months. Every doctor just kept telling me that it would eventually clear, but a student nurse finally had the key to success! You need to puncture a stool softener liquid gel tablet and squeeze it in your ear and let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. It may take a couple of times, but it breaks through the mucous and wax so that your ear can finally drain! Good luck!

  2. Why do I have to be at work right now; when I want to be going to the store, getting the ingredients, and making this. This looks SCRUMDITILIUMPTIOUS.

  3. What a great idea! I love the idea of leaving the bread whole and making it pull-apart finger food…what a great appetizer. I think I’ll make it this weekend along with some other appetizers (sweet and sour lil smokies, anyone? 🙂 for a get-together with some friends of ours.

    My only problem is that I’m allergic to pine nuts. Have you ever tried this with something else besides pesto? I’m thinking marinara sauce. Or does anyone know a pesto recipe that doesn’t have nuts (of any kind) in it?

      1. It’s also good with some english walnuts. I use both in my pesto because I saw it on Barefoot Contessa and walnuts are SOOO much cheaper than pine nuts.

        My issue is with the sourdough. I’ve tried and tried, but I don’t like it. I’ll eat it as a sandwich as long as there are STRONG flavors that will overcome the twang of the bread, but that’s it. Any suggestions? I’m afraid some of the other artisan breads would dry out…

    1. Jen, You can use pistachios instead of pine nuts. I make it that way all the time, freeze it in ice cube trays and use throughout the year to make panini sandwiches!

  4. I totally just saw this on another blog not long ago, but she called her Bloomin’ Onion Bread and she used a few different ingredients, but basically the same thing. Anyway, I was intrigued then, and now I am more intrigued!! This looks amazing and what a great new thing to serve to guests at parties!

  5. I can’t decide if it is the fact that it is bread, or the pesto, or the cheese, or all of it together but OMG this looks AMAZING. I want to make this…now, but I think someone in my house wouldn’t like my cooking at 4:30am.

  6. I really like this idea. Good bread (not the store brought but bakery) would have to be one of the things I could not live without. Thanks for the different way to apply the ingredients looks like you still get that satisfying crunch when you bite into it. Yum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.