Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Crouton Manifesto

As the dog days of summer swiftly approach, I am finding myself more and more reluctant to do anything in the kitchen that requires heat. I have been eating a disproportionate amount of cold foods from pasta to leftover enchiladas, they all reach my mouth still chilled.

When we get to that point in the year, when it's so hot we just want to subsist on green salads alone, we must not forget the humble crouton. Even though making croutons requires--Gasp!--the use of the oven, at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, it is worth it. I promise.

You should NEVER, EVER, EVER, even consider buying croutons. Not only are store bought croutons a rip off, they're like eating small, dried chunks of particle board. Plus, if you use the heels of the loaf, like I do, you won't feel guilty about wasting anything. Because honestly, how many of us really do use the heel of the bread of sandwiches?

Simple Croutons
3 cups stale bread, preferably heels, cut into 1 in cubes
olive oil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. garlic powder
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Drizzle olive oil over bread cubes. Toss to coat. They shouldn't be drenched, but they should have a nice olive oily sheen. Sprinkle with oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Stirring ever 5 minutes until done.


Anonymous said...

Can you believe I have never ever made croutons?! These sound delicious and I should do it. I don't ever use the heels of my bread as I started throwing away the heels along with the pastic bag bread comes in because you and Holly always made so much fun of me for saving bread bags! Mmmmm, I guess I will make some croutons! Mom

Jodi said...

My dear friend, have you noticed the Purslane growing about? If not, I seem to have some (of this lovely edible weed) growing in my yard. I can't wait to try it. Let me know if you want any.

I'm thinking of picking it and putting a bunch in my garden and in a flower pot to grow more abundantly. I've heard it's also good in the garden to help with insect issues.

Let me know. :-)

Renee and Jana said...

I'm one of those weirdos that likes the butt of the loaf. But I'm even MORE excited about home-made croutons! Careful, I may just go gourmet one of these days...