Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Make It At Home


This summer we've had cucumbers and green peppers and tomatoes in the garden. That means lots of salad on the table. Just to do something new, I decided to try the homemade version of salad additions that I usually buy. Two recipes for you today. Delicious. Easy. Thrifty.

Homemade Croutons

Little Sister calls them "crunchies" and I had to buy croutons while she was here. She likes salad. She likes the "crunchies" better. When I was cleaning out things in the kitchen, I nearly threw out a half loaf of stale sourdough bread. Then I thought why not make croutons? A loaf of sourdough costs over $4.00. Making croutons was a much better choice than tossing those stale slices out.


HOMEMADE CROUTONS

stale bread
olive oil
any seasoning--such as Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, etc.

Slice bread into cubes. Put in a large bowl. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat all the cubes. Sprinkle generously with your desired seasoning and toss again. (I used McCormick's Garlic Bread Sprinkle.)

Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing several times as it bakes, until browned and crunchy. The exact time depends on the size of the cubes and the dryness of the bread.


Let cool and store in a sealed ziploc bag, unrefrigerated, for up to two weeks.


Italian Salad Dressing

I have made homemade salad dressings before. This is another good one. This recipe makes a big batch. It's easy to make if you discover you've run out of the store-bought kind. You might discover you like this better. I like this recipe because it does not call for fresh herbs. I love fresh herbs, but I don't always have them. All of the dried herbs here are always in my pantry.

ITALIAN SALAD DRESSING

1 cup vinegar (use any kind--apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc...)
1-1/3 cup oil (I used half olive oil and half canola)
2 tablespoons of water
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon salt

Add all ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Put lid on the jar. Shake vigorously to mix.
It is ready to use now, but you can store it in the refrigerator a long time.

Adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes or to accommodate the seasonings on your shelf. I don't think you can really go wrong.

Next time I think I'll pour this into a bottle (note to self--save the nearly empty vinegar bottle when it's used up) to make it easier to pour.

2 comments:

Barb said...

This dressing sounds easy and delicious. Italian is my husbands favorite.

Mimi said...

We are fans of Italian, too. And hate to admit it, but we've been eating croutons as a snack!