it isn't hard to add dimension to a dish without making it overly fussy or excessively complicated. old bread cut it into cubes, then swirled and crisped in olive oil with garlic, gives soup or salad a tasty-crusty-crouton-crunch. i also toss the little toasties with roasted squash, cherry tomatoes, herbs and anchovies to make a balsamic panzanella . . . serve that with a nice wine and you have a hearty meal with depth and satisfaction that you don't need a centrifuge or liquid nitrogen to make.
make croutons with little end-crusts or a baguette that didn't get eaten when it was fresh. sometimes i swap out the whole grain cubes for rice or pasta as the main starch for dinner.
• 1 baguette: a day or several days old- cut into small cubes
• olive oil
• 2 minced cloves of garlic
• dried herbs: dill or rosemary or oregano or thyme or a crush of several together
• sea salt
1. coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and heat it on med.-low until shimmering.
2. add the bread cubes, the minced garlic and herbs and sprinkle with salt.
3. stir to coat with the oil and add a little drizzle more if needed to get some on each little cube.
4. stir again and occasionally to brown the bread but make sure not to burn it. on my low flame it takes about 15-20 min. to get each cube crisp and brown.
5. let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Good idea re making them ahead and storing. I always find myself making croutons to order at the last moment.