I'll admit, my favorite part of salad is the croutons. Who doesn't loves croutons? And homemade one are the best. Here is my recipe:
Start with a loaf of really good, day old bread. I used ciabatta bread. Next, cut into cubes. Mine are rather large, but you can make them as big or as small as you want.
Next, melt 1/4 stick of butter in a large saute pan.
Chop up two cloves of garlic and add to the melted butter.
Now here's my secret ingredient that makes all the difference in the world. It's anchovy paste in a tube. Don't get scared... anchovy paste doesn't taste anything at all like fish. It just gives a great salty, rich flavor (the background flavor that you get in Caesar salad dressing). You must give it a try.
It melts right in so it just looks like you have brown butter and garlic.
Next, toss in the bread and coat with all that wonderful butter. Right about now your kitchen will be smelling great.
Finally here are the last ingredients, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Toss the bread soaked with butter on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a little bit more oil (if you need) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can also sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for even more flavor. I didn't have any on hand but usually I do load it up with cheese.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes stirring once. And voila, you have croutons!
I use these in regular salads and I also make a delicious panzanella salad with these croutons. Enjoy!