I always ate garlic bread with butter and tons of raw garlic growing up. I loved it. Still do. But this garlic bread is one I like even better. The combination of olive oil and Parmesan cheese with the "toasty" richness from the pecans is when the flavor of nuts becomes better than the classic choice of than butter. Cooking the garlic creates an extra step, but it takes that raw edge off the garlic and allows other flavors to share the stage. I use a supermarket Italian bread; I like it seeded but that's your choice. I often assemble this bread completely in advance and just bake when dinner is almost ready.
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 cloves (large) garlic cloves, minced, about 3 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cupFisher® Pecan Halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 (1) pound loaf Italian (supermarket) bread
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Cook the garlic: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the garlic, a splash of water and salt. Stir and cook, 3-5 minutes, until the garlic becomes translucent. Transfer to a large bowl.
Make the garlic mix: Add 4 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, pecans and Parmesan to the garlic mix and stir to blend.
Make the garlic bread: Slice the Italian bread in half lengthwise, and brush the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil on the cut sides. Layer the basil leaves over the oil. Spread the garlic-nut mixture over the basil. Place the loafs cut side up on a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until it is heated through ad the cheese melts. Carefully open the foil and bake a few extra minutes for a crispier texture.