I love toasted bread crumbs on salads. They add a sort of oldey timey restaurant fanciness, a nice crunch, and some added texture to what can sometimes be boring salads. They are a good substitution for bacon bits (it’s true!) because of the crunch factor. They’re easier to make and easier to eat than croutons and I like them better.
Here’s how I make them.
I always keep small pieces of stale bread, too small to do anything with pieces, and the ends of store bought loaves in a bag in the freezer. When I want to make bread crumbs I take a couple pieces out, microwave them for about 20 seconds to defrost them, and put them in the food processor for a few spins.
To make toasted bread crumbs I heat up a swirl of olive oil in a skillet, add the crumbs in a single layer, add a minced clove of garlic and maybe some dried herbs- I like a basic Italian seasoning. I cook them on medium, stirring the whole time (they burn easily). As soon as they smell nice and are golden brown I remove the pan from the heat and remove the bread crumbs from the pan (they will still cook in the hot pan and might burn).
I let them cool off a little then add them to salads. You could also use them in soups. They keep for up to a week in the fridge and a couple of slices of bread will make enough for 4 or 5 salad servings.
I’m super into these toasted bread crumbs now but aside from salads and soups, where else can I use them??