Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hello, my name is Chris...

and I'm a crouton addict.

When I was a wee lad, I fell in love with these magical crispy crusty pieces of bread. I didn't realize that they were for salads, I thought they were snack food! I would voraciously bore through a whole box of Brownberry Seasoned Croutons.

I am pretty sure that God invented croutons just to keep lettuce from overtaking the planet. Why else would you eat salad except to get the croutons?

Is there anything better than fresh homemade croutons? They turn an easy premixed salad into something wonderful.

Last night I made up a quick batch for an easy salad, just for a snack, so this is a single serving.

2 dinner rolls
1 T olive oil (the one I used has lemon in it)
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t granulated garlic
1/4 t dried rosemary

I heated a saute pan and added the spices, swishing them around for about 15 seconds. I swear this does something to release their "goodness". Then I added the oil and made sure it heated up, about 15 seconds. The olive oil I used was a gift from a friends trip to Spain and it had lemon in it. Wow, great flavor. I gotta figure out how to replicate that with the regular stuff.

Then I tossed in the bread, stirring and tossing it quickly so all of it gets an even coat of the oil spice mixture. Once evenly distributed, I try to let it sit for about 20-30 seconds, toss, sit again, etc until all sides are evenly toasted and brown. The trick is not letting any one piece get too soaked with oil or too browned.

I removed them to a plate to cool for a few seconds so they didn't wilt the lettuce but I still wanted them warm.

I topped a simple organic premixed baby spring mix salad with a blue cheese vinaigrette dressing and put those croutons on top. Simple but so freaking good!

Guess what I made again for my dinner tonight? :)