Olive Oil Croutons and Creamy Caesar Dressing

Olive oil croutons
Homemade croutons and salad dressings pack a flavor wallop and and are healthier than the store bought alternatives. I have been making croutons for some time. They are the "crouton of choice" of my kids, and they even like to eat them for a crunchy snack. I recently started making my own dressings which are more flavorful, less salty, and fresher tasting than the dressings available at the grocery store.

Two favorite recipes for our salads are Olive Oil Croutons and Creamy Caesar Dressing. Both can be made in minutes with ingredients you usually have on hand. The lemony and Parmesan laced dressing is mixed in a mason jar which allows me to shake up the ingredients and store the dressing in the same container. I make a big batch of croutons hoping that I'll have enough for a couple days.

Freshen up your salads with your own dressing and croutons. You'll never reach from the store bought brands again.

Olive Oil Croutons

1 loaf of French or Italian bread cut in 1-inch cubes
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, place the bread cubes and generously drizzle with olive oil. All the cubes should be covered evenly, but not saturated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the cubes are lightly browned. Watch carefully to insure the cubes do not burn.

Remove the croutons from the oven and allow to cool. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

All the players
Creamy Caesar Dressing

4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

In a mason jar, add all the ingredients. Screw on lid and shake to combine. If the dressing seems too thick, add a little more olive oil and shake again. Dressing can be stored in refrigerator for about 1 week.


Lisa said...

Forget the salad! I could eat just the croutons and dressing!

Robin Sue said...

Ooh I like your dressing recipe, so easy and with out those little fishies! I like homemade dressing so much better, much more tasty and healthy.

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

Great idea about doing homemade - love the mise en place too.

kat said...

I love making homemade croutons too, they are so good in soup

MaryBeth said...

Who needs salad when you have fabulous croutons like this.

Bridgett said...

There is something about homemade croutons that I find so addictive! Your take on caesar dressing sounds delicious, I am going to give this one a try.

Annie said...

You just reminded me of the croutons my mom used to make, they were delicious. Your right, there is no comparison to homemade.

I always make my own dressing too, it is great when you know exactly what is in it, unlike the ingredient labels on most of the jarred dressings. :P

Patsyk said...

I really need to make my own croutons! But, then I wouldn't be able to resist them as I just know they would be so much better than the one's I've bought!

That Girl said...

I agree - I love homemade croutons and caesar dressing.

PaniniKathy said...

I was actually just thinking today about turning some leftover french bread into croutons. Thanks for the recipe!