By Meg Hodson
Aren't the best part of salad croutons? Okay, I do like lots of the components of salad, but croutons are definitely an important part.
There are two things I don't like about store-bought croutons. First, they tend to be very expensive for what you get. The bag seems to be gone at one family sitting! Second, they are almost always filled with preservatives, ingredients you can't pronounce, and too much sodium.
The easy solution to this problem is to make croutons at home. It is very easy, doesn't take much time, and you can make a HUGE batch that will last a long time.
1 loaf of fresh French bread (buy it fresh, let it sit for a day)
1/4 cup oil of your choice (I do an even mix of olive, coconut, and avocado oil)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. basil
1/2 tbl. granulated garlic
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Cut and dice French bread into 1 inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients and whisk together well. Add cubed bread to a large bowl and toss with the oil mixture. Mix well to evenly coat the bread cubes. Transfer to cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Croutons will harden up as they cool. Transfer to an airtight container for storage.
Serve over salad or your favorite soup.