Almost nothing in this worlds beats the perfection of a good crouton. A crusty, peppery outside and a chewy middle is simply the ideal companion to soups and salads. And let's not kid ourselves, I'm not above a handful as a snack. Homemade croutons beat the boxed version by far, and are an important (and beyond simple!) staple to know how to whip up!
Classic Croutons - Bread, cubed (Some swear by Italian, some by baguettes, and there's a heated debate over whether or not the bread needs to be a bit stale. Frankly, I'm not picky. I think any and all bread makes a tasty crouton.) - olive oil - couple of cloves garlic, minced - salt and pepper Heat a pan medium high heat, and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the garlic and let heat up. Once it starts to sizzle, add the cubed bread, turning or tossing to coat, and adding more oil as needed. You're gonna use a lot of olive oil. Don't think too much about it. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and saute the bread until all sides are browned and crunchy. Sample to see if they're as crunchy as you want, and enjoy! If you have any leftover (not a common problem in my house), store in a sealed container once completely cooled. They'll last for a couple of days at room temperature.