12.19.08

An excuse for croutons

Posted in food, home cooking at 4:06 am by wingerz

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This recipe is a convergence of two trends in our household: more greens and more bread. The home made croutons are incredible and totally unlike store-bought ones – flavored with olive oil, crispy on the outside, and slightly chewy on the inside. The only thing to watch out for while making this salad is making sure that enough croutons make it into the salad since it is incredibly tempting to eat them right after they come out of the pan.

Spinach Salad with Mushrooms, Croutons, and Warm Lemon Dressing
from Cook’s Illustrated

1 1/2 pounds flat-leaf spinach , stemmed, washed, dried, and torn into large pieces (about 9 cups, tightly packed)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms or white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, sliced thin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups stale French or Italian-style bread cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 medium lemons
Table salt and ground black pepper

1. Place spinach and mushrooms in large bowl; set aside.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add bread; fry, turning several times with slotted spoon, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate. Off heat, let remaining oil cool slightly, about 1 minute. Add garlic; cook until lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Pour warm dressing over salad; toss. Add croutons; toss again. Serve immediately.

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