Pull-apart bread or monkey bread is a fantastic backyard bbq starter that’s the easiest make ahead dish ever.  You can prep it early in the day, pop it on the grill right before guests arrive and by the time drinks are served, you’re the hostess hero when this delicious loaf is served. I lightened the traditional ultra-cheesy version by using high flavor ingredients and lower fat feta and part skim mozzarella.



1 12 oz loaf                                             whole wheat Italian-style bread

¼ C                                                                pine nuts, toasted and cooled

2 T                                                                 capers, drained and rinsed

2 cloves                                                     garlic, minced

¼ C                                                                basil, chopped

1/3 C                                                           high quality extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C                                                           sundried tomatoes, chopped

¼ ea                                                              red onion, thinly sliced

1 C                                                                Kalamata olives, pitted and minced

1/2 C ea                                                    shredded part skim mozzarella & crumbled feta cheese

2-3 lrg handfuls                                   baby spinach, microwaved, chopped and well wrung out


Preheat grill to medium high heat on one side of grill and cool side on the other.  You may also use your oven preheated to 375. Place 2 sheets of aluminum foil on a disposable aluminum pan in an “X”, leaving a few inches overhang on all sides.  Using a serrated bread knife, cut the loaf of bread in 1” vertical slices.  Take care not to cut all the way through the loaf.  Rotate the bread a quarter turn and cut 1” slices across the vertical slices, creating a crosshatch pattern.  Place cut loaf on the baking pan on the center of the foil “X”.  Set aside.

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant.  Take care not to burn nuts.  They can go from lightly brown to burnt in seconds!  Set aside.

Mash capers, garlic, Kalamata olives and basil with a mortar and pestle until you have a somewhat smooth paste.  Slowly add olive oil and whisk until incorporated. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts, cheeses and cooked baby spinach.

Spoon the mixture into the cut portions of the bread.  Take care to push the filling down into the bread openings.  Gather the aluminum foil around the bread and wrap loosely.

Place in the grill and close lid. Reduce grill temp to medium and bake for 30 minutes.  Fold back the foil and continue baking 7-10 minutes longer until top is golden and cheese is melted and browned.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.