Friday, July 08, 2011

Italian Salad Croutons

In my house Caesar Salad rules when it comes to concoctions with lettuce. If we want salad in this house, it is 99% of the time going to be Caesar. Doesn't actually happen to be my favorite, unless you're turning it into a meal and adding some grilled chicken strips or something along those lines, but it is pretty much the only salad my hubby will eat and so of course I make it so everyone is happy!! I get fresh salad, he gets salad he likes. Something we discovered quite by accident a year or two ago was homemade croutons! I had run out of the store bought ones and thought maybe I could dice up some bread, drizzle some olive oil and seasonings on it and that would suffice. Well I've never bought them at the store since then. That is still my "traditional" method. I cube bread (I usually use King's Hawaiian Honey Wheat Rolls or leftover whole wheat brat or burger buns that need to find a purpose!), lay them out evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil on top with a healthy sprinkling of garlic powder and Italian seasoning. I toss by hand and try to get all that seasoned goodness on the bread and bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. We like them lightly browned but still chewy and these seems to work perfectly every time!

I decided to"branch out" though and see if there was an actual "recipe" on AllRecipes.com for croutons, which of COURSE there are! This one is very similar to my recipe, but has actual measurements you can follow - if you're into that sort of thing! :) These were great as well - more butter flavor to them than the way I usually make them which was a nice change - I don't think the boys noticed they were any different. So, use whichever method you prefer - olive oil or butter, either way you will enjoy whipping these up at home for your salads!!

 Start with a few honey wheat rolls, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and butter.
 Dice all the bread up into cubes and lay out on a baking sheet.
 Melt the butter and add in the Italian seasoning.
 Next comes the garlic powder!
 Mix it all up.
 Then drizzle the seasoned butter mixture over the bread.
 Toss by hand, really getting as much of the seasoned butter mixture onto the bread as possible.
 Pop in the oven for about 10 minutes or so and lightly toasted home made croutons emerge!
 They are absolutely beautiful in addition to being YUMMY!!



Italian Salad Croutons slightly modified from the original recipe by Ellen Benninger from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 honey whole wheat dinner rolls (or 5 slices wheat/white bread), cut into 1/2" cubes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Place bread cubes on an ungreased baking sheet, drizzle with butter mixture and toss to coat. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. (If you like them crunchier let them bake up to another 5 minutes or so, check to make sure they're not over browning).

               

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