This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten. It's made with butter and olive oil, a great flavor combination. Plus I love her technique for cooking the garlic without burning it. Ina uses lots of fresh herbs in her recipe. I omit them becuase they're costly and hard to find in my market, and add shredded Romano cheese instead.
1Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Mince garlic and add salt. With a large chef's knife, combine the garlic and salt to make a paste. Use the flat end of the knife to smooth the mixture. Add a pinch more salt if the mixture is not getting moist or smooth enough. This takes a bit of time, but worth the effort. Add black pepper and combine.
2Heat olive oil in medium size saucepan on medium/low heat. Add the garlic paste, let simmer 30 seconds then turn off the heat or if using an electric stove, remove from heat. Leave in pan to cool slightly.
3Slice ciabatta in half horizontally. Spread butter on one half of the loaf and garlic oil mixture on the other half. Sprinkle either side with cheese. Put loaf halves back together and wrap bread in aluminum foil.
4Place wrapped loaf on baking sheet, place on middle rack in oven and bake 15 minutes. Open foil to expose the top of the bread. Sprinkle a little more cheese on exposed bread if desired. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Slice into 1 to 1-1/2 inch portions.
5I like to serve this with my "La La Lasagna". But it's great with soups, salads, and just about anything you'd like to jazz up.