These garlicky croutons are the perfect crunchy addition to a salad, but let’s not limit them to a party with only greens! The Italian dish, Panzanella, is a beautifully light chopped salad made traditionally with tomatoes, onions, and soaked stale bread. I love using garlicky croutons in the place of the stale bread as it retains some of its crunch, and lends superbly to other styles of Panzanella–like a winter panzanella with roasted beets, squash, greens, and walnuts. If you’ve got leftover veggies in the fridge and some stale bread, you’ve got the makings for a purposeful, delicious dinner or side dish.
Of course, there are other ways to use croutons–on top of a creamy bowl of soup, on top of a gratin, or stuffed into veggies to slow roast…I’d love to hear any of your imaginative creations!
- 2 ½ cups day-old bread, cubed ½"
- 1 clove garlic, grated or made into a paste
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs and
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350°F
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, parmesan, salt, and any optional ingredients.
Pour the mixture over the croutons and mix until evenly coated. Spread them evenly on a baking sheet and place in the 375F preheated the oven.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally, until golden and crispy.
If not using immediately, store in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to one month.
Make it your own
- Nearly any bread, fat, or spice will do.
- Pumpernickel, rye, wholegrain, ciabatta, seeded or nut breads, etc.
- Avocado oil, coconut oil, butter/ghee, and rendered animal fat.
- Turmeric and black pepper, cajun spice blends, italian herb blends, etc.
For a refined appearance, cut the bread in cubes; alternatively, tear it into rough pieces for a more rustic style.