I’m sure you’ve heard about Herbes de Provence. The classic Mediterranean flavour medley consisting of thyme, rosemary, oregano and marjoram.
I get a lot of inspiration from Mediterranean cuisines. Most of the fresh herbs that form the mainstay of our flavouring repertoire are indigenous to the Mediterranean and therefore feature prominently in these dishes.
Meals throughout these cuisines usually begin with a selection of little cooked dishes or salads that are designed to stimulate the appetite. This means the herbal flavours in them can be especially pronounced and daring which is right up any herb cook’s alley.
Croutons are often used to add a zesty element to soups and salads. In the Mediterranean people use fresh herbs for making croutons. Don’t buy sliced bread for this recipe. Slice the bread yourself, and don’t be too precise when cutting. Having irregular sized croutons is part of their charm.
- 8 slices day old bread, about 2 cm thick
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon marjoram, chopped
- Without removing the crusts, cut the bread slices into 2cm cubes.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the bread cubes, reduce the heat to low, and cook slowly, turning once, until golden and crusty, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
- Sprinkle the cubes with the salt, thyme, rosemary, and oregano and marjoram. Turn a few times in the pan to coat evenly.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the croutons to paper towels to drain and cool.
- To store, put in a paper bag, fold the top over several times, and keep for up to 1 week.