To be honest, I’m not much of a salad girl. I’ll eat them, but I like a heavy pour of dressing and lots of toppings. Since last February when Dan and I did the Whole 30, we've been making a huge effort to have more vegetables on hand. So we can easily add them to every meal during the week. Lately we’ve all be gravitating towards baby spinach because its pretty mild in flavor and goes great with everything. We keep baby spinach on hand for salads, but we also like tossing a handful into our scrambled eggs or having it be a bed for roasted potatoes and chicken. Mila eats (drinks really) a handful every morning in her smoothie. Spinach is one of those go-to vegetables for our family. Does your family have a favorite veggie? I'd love to know because I'm always on the hunt for new veggie ideas. (Please don't say cauliflower! ;)
I have been trying really hard to make salads a weekly lunch option for myself. It is hard to get creative sometimes when making a salad at home. I try to keep things in our cupboard that can double as a stand alone snack and a great salad topper. Like dried cranberries, nuts, seeds, cheeses etc. The past few weeks I’ve been tossing together baby spinach with tiny mozzarella balls, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinegar. I’ll add chicken to it if I have left overs from dinner. But pretty much my current salad combo mixes salty, savory and sweet pretty deliciously. The one thing I always have on hand are croutons! To me you can't have enough crunchy elements in your salad. I love tortilla strips, nuts, seeds and hearty croutons. I’ll never pass on any bread product! I wonder if I did … would my legs be a bit slimmer? Probably!
Now that it is Summer I think large salads are a staple for dinner or family BBQ’s. I also think ice cream for dessert is a Summer staple, just FYI. But when talking salads I love croutons and I love making my own! Homemade croutons are out of this world tasty and I’m sharing a recipe for them today! When thinking about homemade croutons it may seem easier to just buy a bag of them at the store (which is fully OK). Truthfully though, homemade croutons are pretty dang simple and taste beyond better than anything else. Even the salad, they taste better than the salad haha! So I urge you to try your hand at making croutons at home once this Summer. *Insert High Five Emoji Here!*
I make my homemade croutons with fluffy brioche and bake them in the oven. The outside gets so crisp and the insides stay slightly fluffy. The texture of these are the best! I use simple ingredients like olive oil and garlic powder. I have found that using garlic powder as opposed to fresh garlic sticks better to the brioche while baking. I also use a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for a salty, savory kick!
Check out the recipe below and make them this week to top a salad for the weekend! Happy Summer Friends!
Photos By Lily Ro Photography
GARLIC BRIOCHE CROUTONS
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8 Cups Of Croutons *Depends on how large your slice your bread into cubes.
a loaf of brioche bread
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
You'll need a baking sheet lined with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
*Take your brioche out of the packaging and let it sit out for a day or two. Using bread more on the stale side helps achieve a real crisp crouton.
First pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Also line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
Slice your brioche bread into thick slices. You should end up with around 8-10 slices. Then cube the slices. You are looking to cut thick bread cubes here. Use a serrated knife to help slice through your bread.
Add all your bread cubes into a large bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together your olive oil, spices and parmesan cheese. You can also add more spices here if you feel it necessary! I love a heavy dose of garlic and black pepper so I'm always adding extra. You can also add any other spices here you think would taste great! Get creative if you'd like or stick to the measurements above. The end result will taste great no matter what!
Pour HALF of your your olive oil and spice mixture on to your bread cubes and toss. Then add the remaining half of your olive oil and spice mixture. Be sure to coat every cube of bread. You can also drizzle a little more olive oil if necessary just so each piece of bread gets coated.
Bake your croutons for about 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp. You may have to turn the croutons over to ensure all sides get golden brown.
Let cool and enjoy! Story in air tight containers for up to two weeks.