parmesan skillet croutons

I can't decide if this week is flying by or dragging on interminably. I was very relieved to tuck into bed Monday night, realizing I had gotten through what I expected to be a difficult day. I spent it surrounded by the Mr. and my beautiful little girls. It's those small, quiet moments of reflection that so many take for granted, even myself sometimes.

The next few posts are going to be baby steps in cooking. The final result will be a velvety slow roasted tomato soup. Now this may seem a little backwards, but I'm going to start off with the garnish: parmesan skillet croutons. I love the contrast of crunchy bites floating in a bowl of creamy soup. I used to bake my croutons until one day I was at a friend's house and noticed her sauteeing them on the stove top. Her mother had just been there for a visit and that's how she noticed her preparing them. It was so simple, yet genius in my mind. Why heat up the house with the oven—it was summertime when this revelation occurred.

I've been preparing my croutons in a skillet ever since. Croutons are the perfect use for day-old bread, although you can certainly use fresh bread if you gobbled it all up from the night before. I prefer them diced into small cubes but feel free to make larger ones if you like. And, while you're at it, why not let loose and play around with the seasonings too.


Parmesan Skillet Croutons

makes one cup

1 cup 1/4-inch diced day-old baguette

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan  cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl until bread cubes are well coated.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add seasoned bread cubes to pan and cook, turning occasionally, until golden all over, about 5 to 7 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days—they only last this long in my house if I hide them from the Mr.!