Last night I used up some leftovers. We had a small amount of Lydia Bastianich’s Sausage-Tomato Sauce, a half-pound of linguine from making Aash-e-reshteh, and part of a very stale loaf of boule. I decided to make croutons for a salad to go with the linguine and sausage-tomato sauce. Croutons are so easy to make, I don’t understand why anyone would buy them.
All you do is preheat your oven to 350-degrees, cut up the stale bread into little cubes and put them in a bowl. In a small bowl, mix some olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other herbs and spices that you think you’ll like, and pour it over the bread cubes, mixing it all really well so the bread cubes get coated. Last night I used cayenne, ground ginger and garlic powder in addition to salt and pepper. You don’t want the cubes to swim in the oil, you want just enough to coat the bread, so pour the oil mixture carefully. Spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake them until you can smell them, they are toasty brown, and seem done. Remove them and set them aside in a bowl until you are ready to add them to your salad.
So last night to make this feast of leftovers seem fresh, I prepared the croutons, and while they baked I cooked the linguine and started warming the sauce. While those were on the stove, I put my green salad together and used shredded carrot that was left over from making the carrot cake on the weekend. Voila! I love freshly baked croutons! And Manny wants some, too.