It isn't too often that I have a hankerin' for croutons. And when that craving hits, the processed, airy options from the box just don't satisfy me, so I almost always end up making the croutons myself. Last night I had just such a craving, and luckily, we actually had the right bread for the job (though it could have been a bit more stale).
Dinner last night consisted of butternut squash/red pepper soup, which I made with the butternut squash we'd gotten from our CSA. As the name suggests, the croutons packed quite the punch, which complimented this creamy soup beautifully.
I used sage for the croutons, but it can really be adapted for whatever spice works best with your main dish.
Croutons with a Kick
Preheat oven 350º
In a small bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, combine:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cut into small cubes:
2 thick slices of crusty bread
Place bread in a small casserole dish. Pour the olive oil mixture evenly over the bread. Mix with a spatula so bread is evenly coated.
Bake 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through. (If you like really crunchy croutons, bake an additional 5-15 minutes. I like my croutons crunchy on the outside but still a little chewy on the inside.)
Use on salads or in soups. Or eat by the handful...