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You know what you’re making for dinner tonight, but what shall you serve with it? We’ve been serving these olive oil and salt toasts for literally years. Make them once and they’ll become your go-to easy side dish too!
The easiest side dish
When you need dinner to be quick and easy (like… most nights?) the last thing you want is to be messing around with side dishes.
I know what you’re thinking. How is this even a recipe? Why are you telling me this?
Well, I suppose it isn’t a recipe really. It’s an idea. But it’s a really good idea, in my humble opinion, and a side dish that Mr. Scrummy have been making for YEARS.
I think we originally got the idea when I was living in Greece. While the idea isn’t a traditionally Greek one (to my knowledge!), several restaurants served it to us on the side.
We’ve been hooked ever since! Why?
- It’s the EASIEST side dish you can imagine. It literally takes 2 minutes to throw together.
- It’s a VERY tried and tested idea. We eat it with midweek meals at least once or twice a week. We also comfortably serve it to guests. They often remark on what a good idea it is!
- It doesn’t require any special ingredients. As long as you always have bread in the freezer and good quality olive oil in the pantry (I assume you always have salt!).
- It goes with many, many different types of meals. We ALWAYS make it to go on the side with this popular one pan baked chicken and chorizo with cherry tomatoes and this amazingly delicious Greek baked chicken and potatoes. But it’s also great with any kind of ‘sloppy’ style meal like soup, casserole or bolognese.
- If you’re a fan of the Mediterranean diet, this is a perfect way to get more olive oil into your diet.
What ingredients do you need, and how do you make them?
You need just 3 ingredients:
- Good quality sliced bread
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil (non negotiable!)
- Freshly ground salt (any kind you like, really, but on the chunkier side is good)
I always have some suitable bread in the freezer – already sliced. That way I can grab as many slices of bread as I need and toast them straight from frozen.
Step 1: Just before you’re going to serve your meal, pop some bread in the toaster.
I like my bread to be on the well done side so that it’s nice and crispy. Mr. Scrummy prefers it lightly toasted.
Step 2: When it’s toasted to perfection, simply drizzle over some olive oil and scatter over some salt. Add optional fresh herbs.
Step 3: Serve while still warm.
How much olive oil and salt? Well, really that’s up to you. It’s good to have your olive oil in some kind of drizzle bottle so that it doesn’t slosh all over your toast. Something like this.
What bread to use
I’ve used MANY different kinds of bread to make these toasts. It really depends on your preferences, or what you happen to have.
Most often, I use a light rye sourdough from our local supermarket’s fresh bakery.
Or a wholemeal or multi-grain bread from the farmer’s market.
When I lived in Greece however I often used Greek style pitta bread. I sliced it into 4 triangular pieces and toasted it lightly.
I’ve even used sliced Turkish bread, which is popular here in Australia, or ciabatta bread (both sliced vertically like you would a normal loaf of bread – you get tiny slices but that’s OK).
If you’re feeling a bit fancier, one of my favourite options is this homemade no-knead focaccia bread. It’s a perfect project for a day when you’re stuck in the house, and much much easier than you might think!
On the other hand, if all you have is normal white or brown sliced bread, then feel free to use that too. Just slice each slice of toast into 2 triangles.
I like this idea. But how can I jazz it up a bit?
These days I mostly just use whatever nice bread I have to hand, some good quality oil and some freshly ground sea salt.
But over the years I’ve made this 2 minute side dish in many different ways:
- I’ve added a sprinkle of fresh herbs such as fresh oregano, parsley, basil or thyme.
- I’ve used Greek style pitta bread instead. Simply cut the pitta bread in quarters and toast, drizzle and sprinkle as normal. If you like you can add a sprinkle of paprika and/or lemon juice too.
- I’ve sliced a clove of garlic in two and rubbed the bread with the cut side of the garlic before toasting it. The easiest garlic bread imaginable!
And what kind of meals can I serve olive oil toast with?
Here are some of the meals from Scrummy Lane that we ALWAYS serve this easy side dish with:
- Our favourite easy tuna salad
- Our favourite Greek baked eggplant (you can easily make this meal vegan by skipping the feta cheese)
- Any kind of soup
- Greek baked chicken and potatoes (I always serve this with a Greek salad and tzatziki too)
- Baked chicken and chorizo with cherry tomatoes (this is a firm family favourite that we make time and time again both for guests and for ourselves) or this equally delicious Mediterranean stove top chicken casserole
- Greek oven baked fish
- Honey balsamic chicken with mushrooms and brussels sprouts
- Amazing sheet pan chicken tikka
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2-minute toasted bread with olive oil and salt (the easiest side dish)
- 8 slices bread [small slices of fresh bakery or Italian style bread (wholemeal, rye, sourdough, Turkish, Ciabatta, pitta… ) If you only have ordinary large slices of bread, use 4 and cut in two]
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (roughly- I don't usually measure the amount)
- salt to taste (freshly ground e.g. sea salt)
- Toast the bread in a toaster or under the grill/broiler.
- Put the toast on a serving platter, then drizzle all over with the olive oil. Sprinkle over salt to taste.
- Scatter over a small handful of fresh herbs e.g. oregano, thyme, basil, parsley (optional). Serve while still warm.