homemade croutons

Embellishing your fresh greens with crisp croutons may not be essential to building a tasty salad, but who doesn’t love that oh-so satisfying crunch?

Store-bought crouton brands tend to lean high on the sodium side and also often contain unnecessary (and unwanted!) additives. Making your own crunchy croutons means you get to choose what ingredients go in them, and it couldn’t be simpler. You don’t have to be a culinary whiz to craft your own croutons… just, you know, your average I-can-turn-on-an-oven home chef.

This crouton recipe uses leftover bread (the heels of the loaf that no one plans to eat, a chunk of leftover baguette from last night’s dinner or whatever else you have on hand), olive oil and fresh herbs. That’s it. Before that bread goes too stale, use it instead of condemning it to the trash, you eco-minded foodie. Here’s how.

Ingredients

Leftover bread (however much you have on hand)
Olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1-2 tablespoons fresh basil
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt
Pepper

(You can also substitute the fresh herbs for your favorite combination of dried herbs.)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut or tear the bread into cubes and place in a bowl. (Tip: A crusty bread works best for extra crunchy croutons.)

Mince the garlic and finely chop the basil and parsley.

Add the garlic and herbs to the bowl. Drizzle the mixture with enough olive oil to lightly coat the bread. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the mixture to coat and place it on a baking sheet.

Bake the croutons for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve those yummy morsels over soup or salad.

image: lisaclarke

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