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Homemade Garlic & Herb Croutons

Homemade Garlic & Herb Croutons

My big brother and I developed a taste for croutons at a tender age. Crunchy, salty, garlicky, herby — what’s not to like? We’d eat them straight from the bag…

While I still find the store-bought kind fairly addictive, I’ve since been exposed to something even tastier and undoubtedly a bit healthier – the homemade kind!

So when my husband pointed out that the nice loaf of sesame seed-covered Italian bread I’d bought a week ago was still sitting out on the counter in its paper bag and had gone completely stale, it seemed like a good opportunity to make some of these hand-cut beauties.

Stale bread for croutons by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

The process is quite simple and fairly quick. Consider this your recipe since this is not really the kind of thing you need exact measurements and proportions for.

You can use any kind of bread as long as it is stale (or you make it stale by toasting it in the oven or toaster.) Start by chopping the stale bread into 1-inch cubes.

Cubing the stale bread by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Then chop up a couple cloves of garlic and whatever fresh herbs you plan to add – parsley, basil, oregano and thyme are all lovely options. Rosemary would be nice, too but it has a more assertive flavor that may not pair well with everything.

Fresh herbs by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Heat a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a big skillet and sautée the garlic over medium heat until fragrant (but don’t burn it!) then add the herbs, a generous amount of sea salt, many grinds of black pepper and the bread cubes. Toss well to coat and sautée for a couple minutes, stirring often.

Toasting the croutons in the skillet by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

If you’d like your croutons even a bit crisper and drier than they get in the skillet, you can broil them briefly (and I do mean briefly — depending on your broiler, 30 seconds might be plenty of time — it’s very easy to burn things to a crisp under the broiler…), turning once to ensure even browning and prevent charring. Or you could also turn them out onto a baking sheet and bake them for 15 or so minutes, too (but I’m not going to recommend this approach because then you’d have one more thing to wash and I am lazy…)

Homemade garlic & herb croutons by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

These definitely make a salad special and help turn it into a real meal. I used some of mine in this salad of the first baby arugula and spinach from our garden, shredded carrot, sliced cucumber, dried currants, and hard boiled egg with a citrusy vinaigrette. Delicious!

Homemade garlic & herb croutons in salad by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmers’ markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.

47 comments

+ add your own
6:12PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

I could snack on those all day long. almost dangerous.

4:54AM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Yummy. Thanks for the post.

4:49AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Thanks.

2:58PM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

The sound great but then again so does anything that is made with garlic!

9:26AM PDT on May 30, 2012

Yummy in my tummy, THANKS!!!

1:16PM PDT on May 29, 2012

Thank you so much for the recipe, I've never been able to make homemade croutons properly but I'm sure I'll love these

12:36PM PDT on May 25, 2012

Sounds yummy!

9:37AM PDT on May 24, 2012

Thanks for posting.

9:29AM PDT on May 24, 2012

garlic power!

8:10PM PDT on May 22, 2012

so easy to do as well as tasting great

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