Last week, I challenged myself to eat in a way that would seem fitting for the first week of January, but a little unusual for the beginning of July, when summer barbecues, backyard gatherings, and vacations are in full swing. I packed away the dairy, grains, sugar, alcohol, and carbs, and for six days I ate nothing but fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy proteins.
We’ve been eating a lot lately, and most of it hasn’t been very good for us. There’s been nearly a month of celebrations at home, with school graduations, end of year parties, and Canada Day cookouts; there have been new burger restaurants to try; ice cream cones to consume for keeping cool; and a few too many pitchers of sangria, because it would be a shame not to take advantage of the fabulous fruit available to us right now, and soaking it into boozy deliciousness is one of the best ways to enjoy it.
All of this to say, my system finally felt like it needed a little reset, and last week was the best time to do it as we had nothing penciled into the calendar that would get in the way of a detox diet. I won’t bore you with the details of a week filled with no wine, but let’s just say that it was a challenge for sure. I didn’t force the rest of the family to eat this way, of course, but considering I’m not a short-order cook, by default their dinners were healthier than usual, and there were no treats taunting them from the kitchen counter that week. It was a good thing for all of us, and when we went away on the weekend, I resumed “normal” eating, but found that as soon as we came home I was ready for another little reset.
We are leaving for a ten-day vacation on Friday, so the fridge is currently full of berries and cherries, and fixings for salad. Salmon is on the menu tonight, and I have crazy cravings for a bowl of soup, so I suspect this potato and corn chowder might find its way to the table this week. But, what I won’t be serving, sadly, is this cheesy onion bread.
Similar to garlic bread, but tasting more like a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, this bread is perfect for summer dinners. It goes well with salad and pasta, grilled meats and veggies, and is perfect for plunking in the centre of the table and letting your table mates tear it apart with their fingers. It’s made with a few of my favourite things - bread, cheeses and butter – and would be a nice alongside this stovetop shrimp boil, a summer dinner I can’t wait to cook again.
Cheesy Onion Bread
- 1 country loaf (about 10" x 4")
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- 1 green onion, trimmed, split in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°. Make deep cuts into the bread, about one-inch apart, taking care not to cut through to the bottom.
Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir together the butter, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, green onion and mustard powder. Season with salt and pepper.
Smear the cheese mixture evenly into the cuts, spreading it onto the bread. Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until butter is melted, cheese is gooey, and the outer edges of the bread are crisp. Unwrap the bread and allow it to cool for 5 minutes or so before serving.