Most our homies don’t need encouragement to eat their leafy greens, but hey, it happens. For those who don’t get salad (and they are out there, even among vegans), there is one and only one cure: excellent croutons. They can turn a plate of salad into a big bowl of tasty bread that happens to have some lettuce mixed in it.
Yet there’s an even better reason to start making your own croutons: With bread, we either toss out the leftover heels or kinda make ourselves eat them. Don’t do it! Simply save the end of each loaf, keep it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, and when you have a heel of rye, a couple pieces of stale French bread, a pair of squaw bread slices and a hamburger bun that’s about to go, just cut ’em up and dress ’em up right! The crew will never notice.
Makes 2 cups.
8-10 heels of bread (various kinds)
1 cup walnut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 red onion, minced or slivered
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
2 sprigs thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon minced sage
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1) Cut the heels of bread into small, equal-sized pieces, about 1-inch by 1-inch. Throw them in a shallow bowl and cover with walnut oil. Let sit (in the sun, if possible) for about 30 minutes to soak up the oil.2) Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil and then sauté the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Lower to medium heat and add bread pieces.3) Agitate for about 10 minutes: Brown evenly and make sure the bread pieces don’t burn. Season with the remaining ingredients halfway through and keep tossing. Add more oil if absolutely necessary, and turn down heat if it looks too hot.4) Remove and set on top of paper towels to blot. Cool for at least one hour before serving. Can be stored up to 1 week.