Bread is a popular staple in almost every kitchen. It comes in hundreds of different varieties from nearly every country around the world. Despite it’s variety, many people fall into the rut of simply serving a roll or slice of bread with dinner. However, you don’t have to. One popular type of bread is the baguette. A French baguette loaf is a good type of bread to use as it is easy to work with, has a flavor that can complement a variety of different ingredients, and is fairly inexpensive. There are numerous ways that you can turn a simple baguette into a family meal.
Even if you notice that you tend to turn to sandwiches often, you will find that baguettes can take a boring sandwich to a whole other level. They are often more filling than sandwich bread, which makes them a good choice for those that are wanting to eat a heartier meal. They can also easily handle having a lot of ingredients or oddly shaped ingredients piled into them. You can also toast the bread before constructing your sandwich if you want to eat a warmer meal. Bahn mi sandwiches are often served on baguettes, but you can use any ingredients that you like for your own sandwich.
Panzanella, also known as bread salad, is an Italian dish. It’s a light but satisfying meal that is often served in summer. It’s also an excellent way to use up a baguette that has started to go stale. At its core, panzanella consists of crusty bread, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers dressed all chopped, tossed together and dressed in oil, vinegar, and herbs. However, it’s very versatile, so you can add whatever you like. It’s a great way to use olives and summer produce, like lettuce, bell peppers, beets, peas, and radishes. You can also add fish, chicken, chickpeas, eggs, and other proteins to your panzanella.
For those that want to make a quick dish using a baguette, pizza is a great choice. All you have to do is cut the baguette in half and add sauce, cheese, and toppings to the flat side of each half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and let the pizzas toast for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted. This is a great option for families because you can let kids customize what toppings they want on their section. Picky eaters who don’t like tomatoes may want to swap the traditional tomato sauce out for alfredo, pesto, or olive oil.
French Onion Soup
French onion soup is deceptively simple, and you probably have most of the ingredients for it in your pantry. However, it’s rich in flavor and deeply satisfying, especially in the winter months. You’ll start by caramelizing onions in a large pot. Once they are fully cooked and a nice golden brown, you’ll add beef broth, herbs, and spices, and allow it all to simmer. When the soup is done, dish the soup into oven-safe bowls, and top each both with a thick slice or two of a baguette and a couple slices of Gruyère or Swiss cheese. Put them in the oven under the broiler to melt the cheese and toast to bread, which should only take a minute or two. Then they’re ready to be served.
If you are looking to use up a baguette, you can use it as a starting point to make a wide variety of different dishes. A simple baguette can easily be turned into an easy family meal. Just don’t be surprised if some of these dishes soon become family favorites that you make every single week.
By Anita Ginsburg
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.