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!!