Tuesday, March 5, 2013


You know those people who get stuck on things?  You know, that roommate who plays the same Hank Williams CD for a month straight, the person who might as well live in a uniform because they wear the same clothes till they fall apart, and are happy to eat the same thing for days on end till their husband cries “enough with the quiche already!”.  Yeah, I’m one of those.  Right now I’ve been in a serious Caesar salad kick brought on by a giant wedge of Parm that I bought on sale.  I went through two bags of croutons before I decided that I better try making them if I was going to continue to burn though croutons at this rate.  I looked at a number of recipes, and while they all seemed to think they had some secret, they were all basically the same.  I ended up using a very simple one from Allrecipes.

You will need

6 cups of bread, cubed- about ½ a large loaf of French bread ($3.99 per loaf, $3.99 x .5 loaf = $1.99)

1 stick organic butter ($4.79 per lb, $4.79/4sticks = $1.19)

2 cloves organic garlic, finely minced ($.50 per bulb, $.50/15cloves (estimate) = $.03 x 2cloves = $.07)
Bread cubes, ready to toss!
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, and cook for about a minute.  Add in bread and toss until evenly coated.  Turn bread onto a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until dry.
Post tossing- you can see how uneven the butter is.
That’s what I did, but it’s difficult to get the butter evenly distributed by tossing in a pan, since the bread just absorbs the butter immediately.  Next time I would put them in a large bowl with a lid and drizzle the butter over and then shake to coat before turning them onto the baking sheet.
Did you think that was a family sized salad?  Nope, that's my lunch.

Try It

$3.25 for 6 cups croutons, or $.54/cup
Buy It

$2.49 for 5 cups of Fresh Gourmet Classic Caesar Croutons, or $.49/cup


Croutons are not hard to make, and they’re pretty good.  They didn’t stay as crisp as I had expected, I think because the butter soaked into some more than others and left the soaked ones with an odd texture.  The store bought croutons are actually cheaper and more delicious, so I need to either suck it up and Buy It, or just cool it on the Caesar salads!

NEXT WEEK: Diaper rash cream


  1. i love croutons, and, to me, they "made" the salad. when i thought about the fat content of really good croutons, made with butter, i decided to try a substitute. now a hunk of french bread (sourdough yum) to soak up the last of the dressing works for me.

  2. I think the ammount of stale bread in the house affects whether it's worth it to make croutons or not - because it's bread you'd throw out otherwise, and will make the croutons crunchier. Also, you should try adding some italian seasoning - some parsley and thyme at least - to spice it up a little (pun intended).