Seattle has been blessed with some gorgeous weather lately, but the rain and clouds are back and to be honest, I'm pretty happy about it. I really love the sun, but I also appreciate/need those cloudy days. These past few weeks John and I have been trying to make some positive changes to our eating habits, which means we have made it a point to eat as many veggies as we can, and as of late our go to meal have been salads. I love filling my salads with various textures, and flavors, like this spiced carrot salad with a charred orange vinaigrette that is up on La Crema's blog right now.
This salad has a lot of going on in it, but with each bite you get the most pleasing of flavor combinations. There is a bit of heat from the carrots, sweetness from the strawberries, a brightness from the dressing, and the most welcome crunch from some homemade garlicky croutons. This is definitely one of those salads that will leave you satisfied, which is kind of my goal whenever I make a salad.
If you haven't made croutons before, now is the time. They are super simple to make, and their presences in this salad makes all the difference. When I make croutons I prefer using some type of artisan bread, but you can really use any type of bread you like. For this recipe I used a Peasant Levain loaf from Grand Central Bakery, which is my absolutely favorite local loaf of bread to buy. It's beautiful to look at, and it has notes of sourdough in it which adds even more flavor to this salad.
If you do end up making this salad I do suggest pairing it with the ever-so crisp Monterey 2014 Pinot Gris, from La Crema. It's notes of citrus and spice make it the perfect wine to sip on while enjoying this salad.
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2 cups cubed artisan bread, 1/2 inch cubes or so
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt, to tase
Equipment: Small bowl, baking sheet, microplane zester
Carefully grate the clove of garlic with a microplane zester and add to a small bowl along with the olive oil, whisking together to combine.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the baking sheet. Place cubed bread on top in an even layer and drizzle with the garlic olive oil, tossing with your hands to combine.
Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp, making sure to stir the bread halfway through cooking time to get an even crisp.
Remove the croutons from the oven and let cool before using.