Simple as an
"Olive and Anchovy Crouton"

You've heard the phrase, "Less Is More", well this is a concept that applies here to a dinner salad simply prepared with a few ingredients. The star, being the crouton is so infused with flavor that it wows the taste buds. The trick here is to minimize flavors that would compete with the olive and anchovy in the crouton. Sunflower seeds, very mild and small, tomatoes, not too fruity or aromatic and mild Gorgonzola.. a smooth and mild cheese unlike a Blue or Roquefort that may steal the show.

I had the idea for this crouton when my leftover Kalamata Olive loaf was beginning to get stale and my leftover anchovies from my Gallette were sitting alone in the refrigerator. I hate to waste food.. waste not want not. So I gathered the anchovies and pulsed them in my mini food processor with a fruity olive oil, added some red pepper flakes and black pepper for a spicy infusion. Cubed the remainder of the olive loaf and tossed them in the oil mix to coat. I set my oven to 300 degrees. Any lower and they get too crisp for my liking. I like a bit of a chewy but dry texture to my croutons.. although if you like them extra crunchy I would definitely lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees.
While in the oven check every ten minutes turning them over repeatedly till they are a nice golden brown.

To dress up this salad I drizzled a nice fruity olive oil and a "little" red wine vinegar over it, and sprinkled a little sea salt on top. Growing up I remember my Calabrian grandmother preparing salads dressed with a simple dressing of olive oil, salt and a little red wine vinegar. I loved it this way. It really brings out the flavor and freshness of your salad ingredients.

Don't forget to give me your "Kitchen Remodel" ideas and enter my Kitchen Remodel contest for a chance to win a $60.00 gift certificate. You can enter here. Grazi!!

Buon Appetito!


Joanne said...

Sometimes simple really is best. Those croutons really dress up the salad!

5 Star Foodie said...

Great salad and these croutons are awesome!

bellini valli said...

These croutons are the star of the show:D

Celine's Cuisine said...

Love the colors... very Italians and Summer. I am very shy with anchovies...but it is true they give an amazing flavor to salads. A bientot my neighbor

Cynthia said...

Laurie, I have just been drooling over all that I have missed in the past several weeks. Man, I missed a lot! Your food is homey yet sophisticated. I hope one day to dine at your table. I am completely in love with your food.

The creation of the olive anchovy crouton is something you should copyright!

Sylvia said...

Oh Laurie. This salad is simple and delicious, makes my mouth watering.
Great idea for my messy house ;)

Lori Lynn said...

Sounds perfect! Love homemade croutons and yours just sing with flavor!

I think good ole red wine vinegar had been forgotten for a while, balsamic vinegar and all the other flavored ones took its place, but I also think it is being rediscovered. Ha! I just posted a salad with it too!
LL said...

Olive and anchovy croutons - and blue cheese - flavor for days!

Tamara said...

I'll follow your recipe to the last detail and hopefully i can have it done perfectly. 'll try it and share with my family.