So, a few friends have an fondue party. They tell people to bring something to dip in cheese fondue. Everyone (absolutely everyone) brings a baguette. Some people bring two. Almost none of them get eaten. What do we do now?
Make croutons, of course.
You can put them on salads.
Or put creamed peas all over them (I did this and got about a week's worth of vegetables and butter in one meal: it was incredible).
Or top soup or chili with them. Or make a caponata, bread salad sort of thing. Or just eat them straight by the handful, which is how about 2/3 a baguette of ours went. Speaking of which, there are a few more left, and I'm hungry. Be right back.
Alright, I'm back, and I'm seriously just snacking on a bowl full of these right now. There's seriously just something really good about the crispy outside, with just the right amount of fresh little "give" to the insides, the golden crunch, the gentle herby essence. The best things is, you can kind of just make these with whatever flavorings you want. So open the pantry, and go to town.
- 1 baguette (I used a sourdough one and a French one, and it was a nice combo)
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- herbs (I used ground sage and rosemary, but you can throw in just about whatever you want--maybe a little garlic or Parmesan cheese, even)
Cut the baguette into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle just a little olive oil over the top, and stir to mix. Drizzle a little more, and stir. Repeat the drizzle & stir thing until the bread is lightly and evenly coated (I did it three times). Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and herbs over the bread a little at a time, stirring in between to coat evenly.
Place the bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven for about 4 minutes (checking frequently) until the underside is golden. Flip the cubes, and bake for another 4 minutes or so. If needed, flip one more time (or just shake the pan to jumble them up) and bake for a few minutes more. You want the outsides to be crunchy, but the insides to still be just a little soft.