Add this Lemon-Garlic Crouton recipe to any salad, and it will be elevated to another level. Sourdough bread soaks up the flavors of fresh lemon juice and crushed garlic before it’s roasted to perfection. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know my nine-year-old son has Celiac Disease, and is therefore gluten-free. You may also remember that my husband — to stand in solidarity with him — is also gluten-free. (Very sweet.)
I do not abstain from gluten. (I’m still sweet, though. ;-))
I have a small bag of “gluten-full” items tucked into a corner of the pantry where only I can access it.
What’s in the bag, you ask?
Not much — a little all-purpose flour for my recipe testing and, for my younger son, graham crackers and goldfish. (He loves these things.) Other items sometimes go in and out of the bag, but beyond that, our house is essentially gluten-free.
(If you’re interested in those details, please email me, as I’m always happy to share how our family handles it.)The other day I was in a bakery and couldn’t resist a beautiful, rustic, golden loaf of sourdough bread. It didn’t make it into “the bag.”
I used it immediately to make this Lemon-Garlic Crouton recipe, and served them in a Fried Lemon Ceaser Salad (pictured below), the same day at a casual lunch. Delicious!
I think almost anything you can make at home instead of purchasing it prepared in a package, will be a superior product.
How do you Make Homemade Croutons?
Here are some great tips . . .
- You can use any bread you like! (This recipe calls for Sourdough, but feel free to switch it up.)
- The bread should be cut into bite-sized pieces and drizzled with melted butter or oil. (In this recipe, for added flavor, the oil is part of a marinade the bread briefly soaks in.)
- The bread should be placed in a very hot oven, so they brown nicely.
- They are best eaten the same day they are made.
This Lemon-Garlic Crouton recipe is quite simple to make, and truly enhances any salad it’s added to.
And quite frankly, I’d eat them alone as a snack.
I’m thinking just as one might have a bowl of almonds or peanuts out at a party, a bowl of these croutons would be lovely! Simply to snack on, with a glass of wine perhaps.
Add these Marinated Meyer Lemon-Garlic Roasted Croutons to any salad, and it will be elevated to another level.
*Makes about 5 cups croutons / serving size: about 1/4 cup
- 1/2 pound loaf of sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
Cut the bread into approximately 1 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and salt together. Add the oil and use a whisk to mix until it's well blended.
Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss until all of the bread is well coated with the mixture. (This is easiest if you use your hands.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and let the bread marinate for 10 minutes.
Spread the marinated bread onto a baking sheet, in one layer. (Do not cover the baking sheet with anything beforehand.)
Grind a bit of black pepper over the bread, and then roast in the preheated 400 degree F oven until the bottoms of the bread cubes are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Then turn them over and roast until the other side browns, another 5 minutes or so.
Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet before using them.
I love this recipe with sourdough, but any rustic loaf of bread would be great.
Freshly made croutons are best when used the day they are made. If you store them, it should be in an airtight container, outside of the refrigerator -- when you're ready to use them, place them in a very hot oven for a few minutes, to crisp them up.