Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Salads play an important part of our weekly meals. We have for the last few months enjoyed eating a salad three or four times a week filling in the remaining lunch and dinner meals with all vegetable dishes. Now for those who follow on a regular basis, you know the weekends are all out, eating whole hog style like I enjoying doing. This starts on Friday night and ends at bedtime Sunday. I find this to be a very rewarding way of dieting. Yup, call it what you want but that is how I see it. And in case y'all are wondering, I am now two belt holes slimmer than when I started. Yippee me! You see, I believe in rewards and there is no better time than weekends.
I like my salads 'chopped' style meaning everything is finely chopped and mixed together including the dressing. This means the croûtons (that's fancy French for crust) are included too. Oh yeah, I may be dieting, but don't cut out my croutons . About 1/4 cup is all needed to make this boy happy.
These are seasoned just the way I like them with flavors that put a big ol' smile on my face. I think these homemade little joy bites are the best.
Great for soups, mixed into chopped salads, topping for casseroles or crush and add to omelets, vegetable gratins or 'loaded' baked potatoes.
My Best Tasting Croûtons
makes 16 ~1/4-cup servings
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon real Bacon Bits
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 oz (4 cups small cubed) Baguette
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place first eight ingredients in a spice grinder or small food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until mixture is very fine. Remove to a medium bowl.
Whisk in the lemon juice and olive oil. Toss in the cubed bread until fully coated. Arrange croutons on a rimmed baking pan.
Cook for 10 minutes, Stir and lift croutons from the bottom tossing to turn. Bake another 5 minutes or until browned to liking. Toss croutons and remove.
Allow to cool on the pan before storing in sealed container.