Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mustard Croutons

I'm not a huge crouton person, but when I saw a recipe for mustard croutons on Lottie + Doof, I knew I had to make them the second I had some day old bread on hand. These are my new favorite croutons.

Mustard Croutons

3 oz slightly stale, rustic bread, most of the crust removed
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp dry white wine vinegar
1 tsp mustard seeds, slightly crushed
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Tear bread into 3/4 inch fluffy wads. Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Transfer to large bowl. Whisk in dijon, white wine vinegar, mustard seeds, and a generous amount of black pepper. Add bread. Toss well to coat. Add just a pinch of salt because the dijon is already salty. Transfer to sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes in oven. Let cool. Can store in refrigerator for 1 week.

I used the croutons in an arugula avocado salad tossed with a lemon dijon basil vinaigrette. It was AMAZING. The crunch of the croutons was a nice contrast to the creamy avocado, the sweetness of the basil offset the bitter arugula, and the dijon vinaigrette integrated the components.

Lemon Dijon Basil Vinaigrette
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 basil leaves, chiffonade (stack leaves, roll tightly lengthwise, and cut into thin slices)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients except for olive oil. Slowly whisk in oil. Refrigerate for an hour before using.

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