Crunchy Goodness

July 20, 2007 at 3:01 pm 8 comments

basil-garlic-butter-ready-to-blend.jpg

Friday and the humidity isn’t off the gauge!  Time to party!  Thus it is that I plan to keep this post both sweet and short. 

It’s been brought to my attention that croutons aren’t “much of an entry” (this from a man that goes pale at the mere mention of his participation in the nightly dinner preparations), but I beg to differ.  While making your own croutons isn’t hard, it’s something I rarely think to do.  My recipes aren’t meant to be revolutionary.  Rather, they are here to prompt you to embrace the freshest, most local food you can find.  Homemade croutons with fresh herb butter fit in perfectly with that scheme, don’t ya think?  Well, I do. 

croutons-and-tomato-salad.jpg 

What I like best about these croutons is that they really lend themselves to so much more than just a salad topper.  For instance, in the photo above, I diced some just-off-the-vine-tomatoes, tossed them with sea salt, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.  Then I let those sit for a bit to draw out the juices before tossing in the croutons to soak up said juices.  Less than 10 minutes after I started, I had a delectable and filling little side dish. 

      basil-stack.jpg basil-garlic-butter.jpg basil-garlic-croutons.jpg

So, make a double batch of these crunchy add-ins and see where they take you on a whim.  I also have been sneaking a couple as a snack when I get home from work.   They’re good any way you please, even “god, I can’t make dinner!” man admits that. 

Basil-Garlic Croutons
Adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden Cookbook

1 baguette
1 stick of softened butter
2 T. finely chopped fresh basil
1 1/4 t. finely chopped fresh oregano
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Slice baguette into 1/2 inch cubes and spread onto a baking sheet.  Toast in oven until crisp but not golden, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and place in medium mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, place softened butter, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Allow to sit for at least an hour to let flavors marry.  Do not place in refrigerator unless leaving overnight (in which case, soften again in microwave). 

Combine herbed butter with croutons in bowl, tossing well.  Return croutons to baking sheet and toast in 400 F oven again for 10 minutes, this time toasting until golden.  Allow to cool and store in ziplock bag for up to several weeks. 

Serve not only on salads, but also in soup and with seasoned fresh tomatoes.

(makes 4 cups)

croutons-in-soup.jpg

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Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: .

Unconventional Birthday Treats Ending on a High Note

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennie  |  July 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Ps – for those of you following along, you might have guessed that there was a sale on baguettes at the Acme this week…thus two bread-related recipes in a row. :)

    Reply
  • 2. taylor  |  July 21, 2007 at 7:38 am

    I have to admit that I never make croûtons, but whenever I see the croûton and tomato salad like the one you made, I always think, “Brilliant! I’ll have to give it a try one day.” Maybe when my damn tomatoes ripen.

    Reply
  • 3. Jennie  |  July 22, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    So glad you concur, Taylor! Did you pick up any tomatoes at the Headhouse Market today? I got this amazing yellow gigantuous 3.5 lb “Yellow Doll” that I’m makin’ “steaks” out of right now… Too bad it’s not from WW Farm or else I’d post it here. But tryin’ hard to keep the blog “pure” in its mission. :) Hope you get a chance to make the crouton tomato salad…it’s really quite yummy!

    Reply
  • 4. Rachel  |  August 9, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Made this at Loveland while letting relish rest/cure (what’s the term here?) the other week. Used them with generous portions of fresh orange and red tomatoes to make the bread/crouton salad. YUM! Enjoyed by niece and nephews, too. Brought home leftovers for J to try, but I can attest, they’re great for snacking and he certainly didn’t get to try as many as were allotted him! ;)

    Reply
  • 5. Jennie  |  August 9, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Teehee….yep, they’re hard not to eat at will. So exciting that everyone on Loveland got to try them. :)

    Reply
  • 6. Use ‘Em Up! « Straight from the Farm  |  August 20, 2008 at 7:20 am

    [...] sure to have a loaf of crusty bread on hand or some chunky homemade croutons to soak up some of the broth.  It’s summer in a bowl…a bowl that saves your culinary sanity [...]

    Reply
  • 7. Joyce Turner  |  March 10, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I take it that a small t in the recipes is tea spoon & T is table spoon
    but what does the c stand for please

    Reply
    • 8. Jennie  |  March 10, 2009 at 11:23 am

      Joyce,
      C = Cup and you’re correct about the other two. :)

      Reply

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