Homemade Croutons

homemade croutons - trustinkim

A photo cannot portray how addictive these croutons are. So here’s what happens  –  I make a batch, and most of them get snacked on before they even make it as far as a salad topping. Inevitably I save a few for a salad, and every time it is the Best Salad Ever because these things are just so delicious.

I think the best part is the hint of lemon in them. They’ve also got a little garlic (I use a clove of garlic instead of the powder that the recipe calls for), some thyme and paprika.

The recipe comes from Thug Kitchen. I use a lower baking temperature than the 400 degrees that the cookbook calls for, because I find they get a bit too blackened at the high temperature. I also add a little more lemon juice. Today I made them and (gasp!) I was out of olive oil, so I substituted butter – big thumbs up on that one!

My favourite salad to serve these on at the moment is a caesar salad with a lighter dressing made with yogurt.

You can keep these for a while in an airtight container.

What you need:

  • 1/2 loaf day-old bread (about 5 cups of cubes) (I like Olivier’s French Whole Wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons or more of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

What you do:

  1. Heat the oven to 300F.
  2. Cut the bread into cubes.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix it up.
  4. Add the bread and toss it right away so all the pieces of bread get coated.
  5. Pour the bread onto a baking pan and shake it out so it is distributed around the pan evenly in one layer.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring a few times throughout the baking so it doesn’t burn.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Caesar Salad Light

light caesar salad - trust in kim

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to cook in my friends’ kitchen with a beautiful view. As we had all been overindulging throughout the weekend I decided to make us this healthier version of a Caesar Salad alongside tomato soup. It was delicious with the croutons, but it would be good without them too.

I found this recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website.

What you need for the salad and dressing:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) grated Parmesan cheese, plus some for the top
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 chopped anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

What you need for optional croutons:

  • a few slices of bread cut into cubes (I used sourdough)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • salt and pepper, to taste

What you do:

  1. To make the croutons, drizzle a little olive oil in a frying pan and let it heat on medium-high. Add the bread cubes and toss until they are lightly coated in olive oil. Add the garlic, sage, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Toss from time to time, until the cubes are browned and crispy.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing.
  3. Chop the romaine, then toss with the dressing just before serving. Don’t use all the dressing to start with, as it might be too much; just add more if needed. I like to add an extra sprinkle of lemon juice to mine.
  4. Top with the croutons and serve.

caesar salad light - trust in kim

 

caesar salad light - trust in kim

jamie oliver caesar salad - trust in kim

 

Homemade Olive Bread Croutons

I bought a loaf of bread from the fabulous Terra Breads the other day, and since I couldn’t use the whole thing, I threw it in my freezer.  Later I pulled out a couple of slices to make these yummy croutons.  They were fabulous on top of a caesar salad.

What you need:

a few slices of olive bread

1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

What you do:

1.  Cut the bread into cubes.

2.  Heat a frying pan to medium-low and drizzle in some olive oil, then throw in the garlic, sage and bread.  Toss the bread around so it gets coated in oil.  Add a little more oil if you need it and toss it again.

3.  Toss the bread from time to time until it gets a little browned and crusty.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Throw them on your favourite salad!

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

A creamy dressing that’s also vegan – yum!

What you need:

2/3 cup soft Silken Tofu

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup lactose-free parmesan or soy parmesan

1/4 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 clove chopped garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

What you do:

1.  Blend all the ingredients using a blender or immersion blender.  Add a little more olive oil if it’s too runny.

2.  Refrigerate for an hour or two, if you’ve got the time, to let the flavours mingle.

3.  Toss with romaine and top with croutons.  Serve with a wedge of lemon for squeezing on top.

And here’s a crouton recipe:

For 2 servings you need:

2 slices bread

olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon sage

1/4 teaspoon oregano

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Cut the bread into cubes.  Heat a frying pan to medium, then add a little olive oil.  Once the oil is hot add the bread, tossing until coated.  Add a little more olive oil if necessary.

2.  Chop up the garlic, and add to the frying pan, along with the spices.

3.  When the bread has browned on one side, turn it over and let the other side brown.

4.  Throw it on top of your dressed salad, scraping out the spices with it.