Thursday, May 14, 2009

Of bread and croutons

I love the independent artisan bakery in Morgantown, New Day Bakery, but sometimes I end up in town on Mondays, when it's closed. Those times, I admit, I go to Panera for the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich: Peppadew™ peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro hummus on tomato basil bread.

Last time, I bought a loaf of the bread, which is a hefty hunk for $3.99. I made a couple of muffulettas with it but its flavor was overpowered. I toasted and buttered it and sprinkled it with garlic powder -- not the right combo of flavors. I spread it with regular hummus ... good, but still not hitting the spot.

Tonight I realized I have to use it up or it's going to go bad. I cubed it and made croutons for a spinach salad. Voila! The flavors of egg, bacon, spinach and cheddar matched nicely with the crisp tomato basil croutons. I almost didn't need the Catalina dressing. I can't wait to have it again.

To make croutons: Toss 1 cup bread cubes with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch each of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spread out on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F until crispy, turning occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes.

1 comment:

Serafina said...

I enjoy Panera sometimes. I can get a nice soup and salad. My husband laughs at me every time we go there, because I cannot resist bemoaning how inauthentic their baguettes are (while I eat every single scrap of the one on my plate).

I'm pretty sure they get their bread from a truck and spray it with shine enhancing chemicals, but this is America, most of our food comes off a truck anyway, right?

Love the crouton recipe.

Related Posts with Thumbnails