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  Croutons and Vinaigrette

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Herbs de Provence, used in the Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette is a classic dried herbal blend with thyme, sage, savory, rosemary, basil, marjoram, lavender and fennel seeds.  It's typically found in the South of France and is not only great in a vinaigrette, but also as a seasoning for chicken, turkey and pork.

Homemade Croutons
Homemade croutons are much fresher then any store-bought brand. They are super easy to make, keep well, and they are very versatile in how they can be flavored and in the many ways they can be used.

4 oz. or ˝ a baguette
2 tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: add dried herbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.  Cube the baguette into ˝ inch pieces. Spread on baking sheet, and drizzle oil over bread. Toss to coat and season to taste with salt, pepper or other dried herb blend.  Bake for 10 minutes, stirring twice.  Cool and store at room temp – use within two weeks.

Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
If you keep a few basics in your pantry, such as good extra-virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar, you’ll never need to buy salad dressing again.  Classic vinaigrettes are one of the easiest French sauces you can make, are great for dressing salads and cooked meats, and can be used as marinades.  They all begin with one part vinegar/acid to three parts oil, typically olive.  In this recipe, the honey and the Dijon mustard work together to emulsify the dressing, giving it a creamy texture.

1 tbs. white wine vinegar
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 ˝ tsp. Herbs de Provence
˝ tsp. salt
Ground pepper
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey

In a small bottle that you can shake, or in a small pitcher or bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper.  (This will ensure the salt is dissolved and evenly distributed throughout the dressing.) Add the olive oil, mustard, honey and Herbs de Provence and whisk until well blended. 

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