Every winter I have the same problem. The second it gets cold and gray I stop eating salads. Of course I will occasionally have when I am dining out. But at home I have no desire to make or eat cold veggies. I want warmth. Thus, there are lots of roasted veggies, steamed broccoli, and baked potatoes. No salads though. As spring comes (albeit very slowly) to New England, I am also SLOWLY adding salads as the side to our dinners.
To make them the most appetizing I have been buying the extra toppings I love – tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and onions. Nothing too special but all together I love the combination. However, the one thing I have found is that if I add croutons the salads turn out AMAZING!
Now in restaurants I am the girl who picks out the croutons. Not because I am on some low carb diet but because I think they are typically disgusting dried up pieces of I am not really sure. They have gross flavor and are just crunchy yuckiness. Homemade croutons are a completely different story.
As a good way to use up the last few slices of loaf bread I have been making croutons to finish off our salads. They do SO much to add to salads and are super simple to make.
Simply cube up the bread and put in a bowl. Toss with garlic salt and pepper to taste. I use about 1 tsp of each for 4 slices of bread. Then add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and toss till all pieces are coated.
Spread out bread cubes on cookie sheet. Bake for 6 minutes at 350 degrees. Then flip or toss around croutons and cook for about 5 more minutes. The time and temperature can be adjusted depending on what else you are cooking for dinner. Any extra can be store in an air tight contain for up to a week.
I am telling adding warm homemade croutons to a salad makes you just want to dive in. It makes me want spring to come even faster. I cannot wait for farmer’s markets to start opening and green grass!