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Homemade Croutons

Homemade Croutons

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I hate making salads.  It is usually the dish, I pass on to someone else when they want to bring something to dinner.  What is it about washing some lettuce, chopping up some vegetables, and tossing it all together with a dressing, that I hate so much.  It really does not take much time or thought for that matter, nor does making these crispy Homemade Croutons.  My latest obsession.

 

 

When I do decide to make a salad it is very simple.  Mixed greens, some red onion, maybe a little tomato and a vinegar and oil dressing.  If I am feeling a bit adventurous and it is summer, I may mix it up by making a refreshing Caprese, using fresh heirloom tomatoes.  Or maybe a green bean salad, using some of the summer’s bounty.   And if I am really feeling it, I may add a grilled corn salad to the dinner menu.  Otherwise, you will get a bowl of mixed greens next to your main entree.

The other evening we were invited to dinner and were asked to bring the “salad”.  Damn!  A salad!  Really?  On the way to dinner, we stopped by the market, and I decided to go a step further than mixed greens.  I picked up some radishes, baby red onions, avocados, tomatoes, and croutons.  God, I had not had a salad with crunchy croutons tossed into the mix in forever.  I was actually excited to make this salad.  Maybe it was the chance of nibbling on little buttery bites along the way.  Well, it really did not matter, as I was excited to toss together this “simple green salad”.   While I was slicing radishes, onions, and avocados, I had flashbacks to when I use to make croutons.  What was I doing with a bag of pre-made croutons sitting on the counter, that cost me $2.99.  I could have made them in a matter of minutes.  They would have been fresh and even tastier than what was most likely a semi-stale bag of croutons.

That evening got me thinking.  So, the next night, I laid out my salad fixings, pre-heat the oven and started making my own croutons.  It is easy.  It was creative.  I used half a baguette, that I sliced in half, rubbed down with fresh garlic, drizzled with some olive oil and seasoned with fresh herbs.  I then baked it all for a few minutes, and I had fresh and flavorful croutons.  The mixed green salad had a bad rap at our house;  well, not any longer.

Have you ever tried making homemade croutons?  If so, what is your favorite flavor combination?

 

Recipe:  Homemade Croutons

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 baguette, sliced in half
  • 2 cloves of garlic, each cut in half
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh herbs, of choice
  • a sprinkle of Maldon or kosher  salt
  • a sprinkle of pepper or piment d’espelette

How To:

Heat oven to 425.

Rub each half of baguette with the garlic;  all over the top, bottom and sides.

Cut into small bite-sized pieces. Lay the cut pieces of baguette on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.

Using your hands, mix the pieces of bread with the seasonings on the cookie sheet.

Slide it into the oven, and let bake until golden brown;  about 3 – 5 minutes.  It will depend on how hot your oven gets.

Remove from the oven, set aside until cool.

Serve.

Eat.

 

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anna

Sunday 14th of August 2011

I've never had good luck making my own croutons. Not that the ones in the bag are any better - but mine just weren't *that* good. The recipe I have says to do them in a skillet. I'll try the oven next time.

european

Tuesday 14th of June 2011

Buying fried bread for 3 dollars? Never heard of non-home-made croutons to be honest. America...

Jill

Friday 10th of June 2011

I too have a salad phobia, it was never part of my culture growing up, we never ate salad, except iceberg lettuce in the restaurant with bottled thousand island dressing. I discover salad in the last few years, and found homemade croutons to be the best too! I love it as a tomato and bocconcini salad with an anchovy pesto dressing dressing. Mmmm, I think that's what I'm having tonight!

MikeVFMK

Thursday 9th of June 2011

I love homemade croutons. Much better than store bought, with more flavour and more texture. Great idea to bring it back to the basics. We all need that from time to time. You can't win friends with salad, but with croutons you have a shot.

foodwanderings

Wednesday 8th of June 2011

This is so true. We love this restaurants who shall stay nameless caesar salad and salad dressing if only the croutons were as delicious!! Great post!