My Favorite French Bread Pizza

I promise, this is the end of the Italian-themed recipes for this week.  I didn’t start off the week with Italian food in mind, but as I said on Wednesday, the sale ad made me do it.   And whenever delicious, crunchy baguettes and ooey, gooey cheese go on sale, I feel a strong culinary urge to make these French bread pizzas.  The whole DamFam is crazy for ‘em – why, No Thank You Boy is even a fan!  They’re a cinch to make, and even better:  they don’t come packaged in a red box with a name that rhymes with gophers.   Or loafers.

Here’s a bold promise:  I can almost guarantee you’ll have the whole sh’bang prepped and ready to go in the time it takes to fire up your oven to 475 degrees.

They’re cheaper to make, and tons more fun than waiting around on a delivery boy, so make these pizzas sometime this weekend!  Maybe tonight or Saturday night, or for munching whilst taking in the Packer game on Sunday afternoon.

I hope the Cowboys don’t bring those danged cheerleaders along.  Honest to Pete, what girl do you know who wants to stuff her face with pizza in front of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders?  I might have to eat mine in the other room.

I digress.  Just make the pizzas!  You’re gonna like the way they taste.  I guarantee it!

Serves: 4

6 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. finely chopped fresh basil
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 loaf French bread, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 8 even pieces (see note)
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. pizza sauce
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (Shur-Fresh Mozzarella is on sale this week, 11/3/10 – 11/9/10)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475.  Microwave oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons basil, and pepper flakes on high power in a small microwave-safe bowl until fragrant, 30 – 60 seconds.

Brush half of oil mixture over the cut sides and edges of bread and arrange cut side up on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over bread and bake until cheese begins to brown, about 3 minutes.

Whisk pizza sauce, remaining basil, and remaining oil mixture in bowl.  Spread sauce evenly over bread, then top with mozzarella.  Bake until cheese is melted and spotty brown, 5 – 7 minutes.  Serve.

NOTE: I used two of the Ecce Panis Neo-Tuscan mini loaves that are on sale this week, 11/3/10 – 11/9/10. This was enough for a light supper; if you’re feeding more than four people, I would add a third loaf and up your olive oil, pizza sauce mixture, and cheese a bit.  It doesn’t have to be exact measurements, you really can’t screw it up.  Enjoy!!

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | November 5th, 2010