Fluffy, fragrant and dripping in butter. When Rita’s launched its one-of-a-kind garlic bread at its Soho restaurant, the dish sold out on day one. ‘It’s satisfying, salty and a little bit nostalgic,’ says co-founder Gabriel Pryce. ‘I grew up between here and the States, and the dish is a meeting of two of my favourite things: the garlic bread from a Crouch End pizzeria and the warm Parker House rolls you get with dinner in the US.’ He explains its magic formula.
The green butter
‘We purée garlic with parsley and add it to butter with parmesan and pepper. It’s indulgent, smooth and very buttery. We sprinkle sea salt on the roll to hold the butter in place.’
‘We shave a little cheese on top of the butter for an extra flourish of flavour. We use Grana Padano from an Italian supplier – it’s the perfect box-ticking cheese, not too heavy.’
‘We cook the dough in garlic oil. It’s baked just before service in a very hot oven to make a chewy crust and a pillowy soft centre that soaks up the butter.’
‘When you pull the bread apart, the butter starts to melt and you can dunk it in. Sharing food at the beginning of a meal brings everyone together.’
‘We go through a lot of garlic – we make about three kilos of this butter a day. It’s made with confit garlic as well as raw, so it has a warm, roasted flavour, but is also punchy.’
49 Lexington St. £4.50.