Garlic Bread Cheese Appetizer

One of the most talked about new seasonal TJ’s products is currently the garlic bread cheese. Don’t let the name fool you; there’s no actual bread here. Instead, this is Trader Joe’s take on juustolepƤ, a Finnish cheese that has a bread-like consistency. But why have regular bread cheese when you can have garlic bread cheese?!

If you’re familiar with halloumi, this cheese is very similar, just pre-grilled and seasoned. It’s strongly recommended to warm it up and 30-45 seconds in the microwave should do ya. They recommend cutting it into strips or cubes and dunking it into marinara, which I agree would be quite tasty…but garlic bread and marinara felt a bit too on the nose for me so I made up something new. This appetizer uses 3 ingredients and takes 3 minutes to make. All ingredients are Trader Joe’s specific, but you could make some simple substitutions (like using halloumi for the cheese, red pepper spread or eggplant spread or even pesto for the sauce, and something crusty for the bread) and wind up with something delish.

To make, split and toast some pretzel bread stick rolls, smear with Trader Joe’s roasted red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic, and top with some of the microwaved garlic bread cheese. Serve immediately while the cheese is still nice and warm. If you happen to have these or similar items in the house, some version of this is a great thing to whip up if friends drop by unannounced.