I am proud to admit that I have not purchased a bag or box of pre-made croutons in at least 13+ years. I was literally at the grocery store just a few hours ago and saw a couple picking up a bag; I had to chuckle to myself because I was actually contemplating telling them how easy it was to make their own and that they are handsdown better than what you can buy at the store any day of the week. I can see the headlines now; women arrested in Market Basket produce for accosting couple over bagged croutons. I refrained… I then saw the same couple pick up a premade bag of salad; I tried not to judge. I am not perfect by any stretch; I have made my own coleslaw many times over the years but I will confess that it is way easier to buy a tri-color bag of shredded cabbage and carrots; I do make my own dressing for the slaw but sometimes everyone needs a little assistance.
I have been trying to help my family eat a little better. While we are definitely foodies and only want to eat food we like; which is not always the most healthiest choices and we don’t really adhere to the motto “eat less” either. I figured if we had a salad before each dinner maybe we wouldn’t eat as much steak, chicken, pork chops, lasagna or whatever we are eating for dinner. Last week I made some pretty yummy salads I must admit, They were more like a meal since I added some leftover bacon and I made a couple of hard boiled eggs. My salads tend to be whatever we have in the produce drawer, I found that really like adding sno-peas, they add some really nice crunch and are very sweet. I cut off the ends, blanch for a minute remove from the heat; add to a ice water bath so they stay green and crunchy. (my salad is the one without the raw onion – I don’t like raw onions at all and I have no desire to learn)
Crust removed from whatever bread you want to make the croutons from. I tend to make croutons every time we have leftover French or Italian bread that we had for dinner the night before, I have also used whatever sandwich bread we have in the drawer.
Day old Bread
Remove crust; cube into the size you want to eat; place in a ziploc bag; add olive oil; just enough to lightly coat the bread.
Bake in a 350’ oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned
If you are in a pinch you can pan sear them; I tend to do this in the morning if I make a salad for work
1 bag of tri-colored coleslaw
1 cup of Mayo
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbs cider vinegar
1 lemon juiced
Pinch of sugar
1/25 tsp celery seed
Several dashes of hot sauce
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the above ingredients; add to the coleslaw and let set for 10-15 minutes until it melds. Great on pulled pork sandwich!