Balsamic Vinegar Croutons Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Bread: 1 day-old loaf of your favorite crusty bread. Sourdough, ciabatta, French baguette, etc., all work well.
  • Olive oil: 1/4 cup
  • Balsamic vinegar: 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • Dried herbs: 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried rosemary and thyme mix
  • Salt and pepper: To taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven: Set oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  • Cube the bread: Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. If your bread is very fresh, letting it sit out on the counter for a bit can help it dry out slightly which leads to crispier croutons.
  • Make the flavor base: In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
  • Coat the bread: Add the bread cubes to the bowl with the dressing and toss thoroughly, using your hands if needed to ensure even coating.
  • Bake: Spread the croutons in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, tossing them halfway through, until they’re golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully at the end to avoid burning.
  • Cool and store: Let the croutons cool completely on the baking sheet before storing them. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Tips:

  • Add flavor variations: For additional flavor, sprinkle in some grated Parmesan cheese during the last few minutes of baking.
  • Adjust seasoning: Taste as you go, and adjust the herbs and seasoning to your preference.
  • Make the most of it: Use leftover bread ends or stale slices for this recipe!

Serving Suggestions

  • Salads: Top your favorite salads, especially a classic Caesar salad.
  • Soups: Add a crunchy topping to tomato soup, lentil soup, and other creamy soups.
  • Snack: Enjoy them on their own for a simple, satisfying snack.

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