Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Best Part

I know I promised to post up a video tour of my garden next...But, it's been raining and I've been lazy.  Instead, let's talk about croutons.

Yes, croutons.  Croutons are basically the reason I like salad.  At the very least, they're the best part.  The vegetables are sometimes merely a vehicle by which I can transfer croutons into my mouth.  They're crunchy, salty, toasty and coated in olive oil- What's not to like?  So if you're trying to eat more vegetables, my advice is to have some croutons around!

When I think about croutons, I associate them with the totally nasty salad bars at chain restaurants.  The type that would dump their hydrogenated-oil coated croutons from a giant shelf-stable bag.  They feel kind of trashy and I'm a bit embarrassed to like them so much.  But they don't have to be gross!  And they cost practically nothing to make.

Croutons can be made from the end pieces of whole wheat bread, people!  The same pieces of bread that go moldy every week because no one wants to eat them!  (Or gluten free bread or really any kind).  I like whole wheat bread croutons because they make salads significantly more filling than usual.  Plus, like I said, they're coated in olive oil, herbs and salt.

Actually, I've got to admit that I really like other crunchy things in my salads, too.  Apple pieces, sunflower seeds, almonds, radishes, etc.  Anyways, here's my salad from tonight.  Locally grown lettuce, garden radishes, marinated artichoke hearts, black olives and whole wheat croutons.

Here's how you make the croutons:

A couple end pieces of bread, cubed
Garlic olive oil
Dried parsley
Dried lemon thyme
Dried dillweed
Black pepper
Nutritional yeast
Sea salt

I'm not going to lie and tell you I have any idea how much of each of these ingredients used.  I just poured a hefty couple glugs of garlic olive oil in a mixing bowl, tossed in the bread cubes and sprinkled on pinches of all these spices/seasonings.  Then I baked them for about 10 minutes at 350F, turned them and baked 5 more.  You'll know they're done when they smell toasty and awesome.


AikoVenus said...

Haha, I love croutons too. I remember that when I was younger that I would always put away half a bag of croutons..sans the salad. I'm better now of course. ^^;

Catherine said...

mmmmmm . . . I love homemade croutons. Haven't made any in ages -- what's wrong with me??? ;)

(You must dry your own herbs? I've never seen dried lemon thyme for purchase.)

Anonymous said...

"But, it's been raining and I've been lazy." Haha...I love your honesty :-)


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