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.