There's no reason to give up soup just because warm weather has arrived. Rather, it's a great way to showcase the season's best. Case in point: this savory-sweet, luxuriously creamy corn chowder that's studded with pancetta and finished with garlicky croutons.
'croutons' on Serious Eats
The key to a great kale Caesar salad is to marinate the kale in straight olive oil while you prepare the dressing and the croutons. The olive oil helps break down the leaves, turning them from tough to tender-crisp.
Fried catfish croutons on a Caesar salad? Yes, please. That's the main reason I decided to make this recipe from the Lee Brothers' Simple Fresh Southern. Whether it tasted good or not, that was kind of beside the point.
Just when I think I've combined bread, lettuce, cured ham, and tomatoes in every conceivable way, I stumble across a new delicious way to get it done. This recipe from Martha Stewart's Dinner At Home uses the hearts from four heads of Boston lettuce as a base (you can save the outer leaves for another salad) and then adds crunchy croutons, crispy ham, and sautéed cherry tomatoes. None of these elements sound particularly interesting on their own, but each manages to have a little edge.
Before a friend mentioned croutons, I hadn't put them on a salad in a really long time. Was I forgetting how good they were? Mental note: make a batch. Fast-forward a few days: I'm now a crouton-making machine.
The genius is in the croutons: they're homemade from cubed rustic bread (a perfect use if it's stale, but it will work fine with fresh), crisped in the rendered bacon fat until golden and just barely chewy. They absorb a ton of flavor and it gives the whole salad that porky, bacon-y goodness all the way through.
When combined, the peppery cress and tender, pleasingly bitter frisée creates a salad that's worlds away from the dull mesclun mixes we've become used to. These are salad greens that really taste like something—they don't act solely as a vehicle for other ingredients or a particularly intriguing dressing. It's a salad that's all about the lettuce, and this time of year, it's just right.
A frisée aux lardons salad is one of my favorite bacon-and-egg combinations. I know I bore my friends when I order it just about every time I go to the quintessential New York downtown brasserie Balthazar (where the exemplary cooking...
By most standards, this salad is typical or, more bluntly, kind of boring. Roasted almonds, Boston lettuce, and a simple vinaigrette. But the ginger croutons, ah! Those are a keeper. Or, as the recipe says, “a knockout." Making croutons is...