Sunday, April 1, 2012

Salad Days - Part I: Goat Cheese Croutons

Over the next few weeks, along with other culinary delights, I am going to post a series of salad recipes, toppers and dressings -- perfect for spring and summer light dining.  Today is the first of which I will call "Salad Days." 


In the spotlight;
Goat Cheese Croutons


We are on a very tight budget.  I am learning to pass up the convenience items in my grocery store .  Home cooking is better anyway as you know what you put in there!

Using stale baguette and a few fresh ingredients, I made wonderfully delicious goat cheese croutons.  I used them to top this insanely good chicken salad that I whipped up for dinner the other night.  




For the salad, I simply used a store-bought black peppercorn sauce (Kraft) to cook the cage free raised boneless chicken.  I created a salad using fresh greens, green beans, roasted potatoes, tomatoes, and hard boiled egg.  I even threw in a little leftover corn.  Store-bought Caesar dressing was used for the greens.  The dressing came with the pepper sauce.

No matter what veggies or dressing you toss together, these croutons will make it special.  Here is how you can make Goat Cheese Croutons at home:

Ingredients

About 2 1/2 cups stale baguette or sour dough bread, cubed
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Seasoned salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut bread into cubes.




Add olive oil, goat cheese and garlic powder to a bowl.  Using a fork or a wire whisk, mash the goat cheese into the oil and combine with the garlic powder.  The cheese will blend into the oil.

Toss bread with the oil and cheese mixture until coated.

Arrange cubes on cookie sheet.  Spray liberally with cooking spray and sprinkle still a little seasoned salt.  Turn the cubes over and repeat process on second side.





Bake for five minutes or until crispy to your liking, turning once.

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