Thursday, June 28, 2012

Croutons with oregano

We’ve been going through store-bought croutons like there’s no tomorrow, with all the lettuce bounty I photographed & posted last week. I didn’t think they’d be too difficult to make at home, and sure enough, thousands of recipes popped up on my computer screen. I was thrilled to see one with oregano, since that was still on the list of spices to cook with (despite it going into various tomato-based dishes all the time). Here’s what I jotted down on a scrap of paper from several recipes combined– to save a tree! 
“bread, garlic, oil, salt/pepper, oregano, paprika”

After I measured out a sampling of each (and remembered the quantities until after the taste test), I wrote down:
6 slices of bread, 1 clove garlic (minced), 1/8 cup olive oil, 5 grinds each of salt and pepper, handful of oregano (freshly cut, dried in our kitchen for a week or two), sprinkle of paprika). 
Chop the bread. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl, and add the bread. Mix well, then spread the bread cubes on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees, then stir the croutons. Bake another 15 minutes, stir again and check for done-ness. Mine were ready to come out then, but the more bread you use, the longer it will take if they’re more than 1 layer deep.
I’ll admit, the oregano flavoring was nice and strong, so if you’re using oregano in the spice rack, try it with 2 teaspoons and see how you like it. It was tasty to have in a garden salad with yogurt dressing (store bought, sorry, no recipe!).
I’ll definitely save the money on overly crunchy and possible chemical additives from a product with a long shelf life, to this quick 30 minute baking job.
Here is our oregano plant! What is your favorite oregano or crouton recipe? 

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