When life gives you a free loaf of Italian bread, make croutons.
Most weeks, we do our grocery shopping at Shaw's or Star Market. Almost every time we visit either store, we're given at least one new coupon to use on our next visit. Last week, we had a coupon for a free loaf of Italian bread, so I decided to cash it in when I did our grocery shopping.
I used half of the loaf that evening to make garlic bread, but saved the other half to make homemade croutons. We have a ton of leftover salad greens in our refrigerator, and I knew these croutons would encourage us to eat more salads throughout the week (it encouraged me to eat one salad, at least...).
Yields: About 3 cups
-1/2 loaf of one day-old Italian bread, cut into bite-size cubes
-7 tablespoons butter, melted
-Salt and black pepper
-Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
-Pinch of garlic salt
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) In a large bowl, carefully mix bread cubes with the melted butter. Season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic salt, and parsley flakes.
3.) Spread bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until croutons are golden brown.
I could literally eat these croutons as a snack. They're delightfully buttery with just a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes. And although these croutons are crispy, they won't break your teeth - the Italian bread makes them a little more airy than some teeth-shattering croutons can be.
Are you a salad person? I really have to be in the mood for a salad to have one, but I adore salads with all of the fixings!