I’m pretty sure that croutons are my son’s favorite part of the salad. Let me just say that homemade croutons taste so much better than store-bought croutons. Store-bought croutons are just so dry and boring. Once you make your own croutons, it will be hard to eat the store-bought ones again!
I make my croutons in the skillet and they are ready to go in about 5 minutes. Many people make their croutons in the oven. I’ve tried that method and it works great. But again, I am trying to avoid the oven. Also, the oven method takes 20-30 minutes. When I’m trying to throw together a quick weeknight meal, I don’t have that sort of time. Any leftover croutons can be stored in an airtight container; however, I enjoy them most when they are prepared right before I intend to serve them.
I really like the versatility of making my own croutons because I can flavor them to complement the other flavors in my salad. On this particular night, I had some leftover romaine lettuce and a rotisserie chicken so we had caesar salad. I had about half a loaf of cheddar cheese bread from the grocery store bakery leftover from making cheesy garlic bread the night before (to go with spaghetti) so that’s what I used. Since the bread already had so much flavor by itself, I just added salt and pepper. But you can use any bread which makes this a great way to use up leftover bread. You can use any combination of dried herbs and/or garlic that you like. Sometimes I even like to add freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano right at the end of the cooking process.
- 3 – 4 slices of bread diced into cubes
- 1- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried herb of choice or 1 clove garlic diced finely (optional)
Add butter and olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the bread cubes, salt, pepper and any seasonings to the skillet and toss to coat. Cook 3-5 minutes, turning at least once, until croutons have reached desired level of browness/crispiness.
Store in an airtight container.