How many of you have a sachet of Herbes de Provence that someone brought you from France? And you wonder, what to do with it? It’s a mix of some combination of rosemary, lavender, thyme, savory and oregano, and possibly other ingredients, depending on who made the blend. Try this recipe, and add it to a salad or soup. Crunchy, croquante, croutons with Herbes de Provence. I promise you will love and use them, and they are a great addition to your repertoire, also great for Christmas gifts.
You will need:
Cubed bread; I prefer an organic, whole wheat bread; my favorites are anything from Louis of Prager Brothers, or in a pinch, Poilane from Bristol Farms. Get the best bread you can; I love the five grain or country loaf that Louis makes. You can also use stale baguettes. This is a great way to make use of your day old bread. Trim off the crust and cube the bread.
You will need some kind of fat; this can be butter, but I prefer bacon drippings. When you make breakfast bacon, save the fat in a cup or jar like this. Cook bacon on low heat to render the fat; if cooked on low it will be clear like this. Then turn up the heat and brown the bacon.
Add a few tablespoons of bacon fat to a skillet to melt; add the bread cubes and then generous pinches of herbes; toss to mix~
Put the herbed cubes on a baking tray and cook at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until desired crispiness is attained.
Drain the croutons on paper. Store in an airtight container, or preferably, use immediately.
We had butternut squash soup with croutons tonight, and it was seriously good. Save the left-over herbes de Provence that don’t stick to the bread and sprinkle them over the soup or throw them on top of your container of croutons. The herbes give a fantastic flavor to soups, salads, or snacks. The taste of fresh or dried versus toasted with croutons is vastly different. You will love these herbs once they are toasted with the bacon.
You can also add these to chicken soups or other meals. Or grate more Gruyere or Parmesan cheese on top. Hope you enjoy~