Balsamic Croutons

~ Menu ~
Smoked Pigeon Breast Salad with Balsamic Croutons
Small glass of Red Wine
A few Freshly Picked Strawberries

The other day I accidentally invented balsamic croutons and they were so good I invented them again today.


Last week I had a small dish of olive oil and balsamic vinegar sitting around which I was occasionally dipping pieces of gorgeous bread into, as one does. I ran out of bread before I ran out of oil and vinegar. Later on, when making croutons to go with my soup of the evening, I reached for the olive oil but seeing the little dish thought what the heck (or similar), poured it over the bread pieces and croutoned on in my normal fashion.

Balsamic Croutons

I always tear croutons rather than cut them. This way they are interesting shapes which look pretty and also tend to be crunchier as they have more points and edges. So - tear some bread into pieces, mix together a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the proportions of 3:1 or thereabouts. Drizzle over the torn bread, sprinkle with salt and pepper, spread on a baking tray and do in a hot oven till crisp and golden which will only take a few minutes.


I have written more about the how and why of making croutons with lots of other variations here.

Today, when I found I had two smoked pigeon breasts in the fridge (OK, I did know they were there!) I sliced them into a simple salad and added the balsamic croutons. For a dressing I made my standard honey enhanced balsamic vinaigrette, the sweetness of which compliments the smoky gamey taste of the pigeon and, well, you know – yum, though, to be honest, not very photogenic! 


Balsamic/Honey/Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tbsp Dijon mustard
50ml balsamic vinegar
1½ tbsp honey
225ml olive oil
salt and pepper

~ Whisk together the mustard, vinegar and honey.
~ Gradually whisk in the olive oil – it should emulsify – and then the salt and pepper.
~ Keeps ages – store in a lidded jar and if it separates give it a good old shake before using.

For lots more ideas and recipes for vinaigrettes see here.

Still glorious weather, a bit cooler and much colder at night but lovely. Not having experienced an English autumn for many years I'm really enjoying it now but is this normal, so late in the year? .....


I picked 5 strawberries from our pot outside the caravan and they were so sweet!


soaplady said...

only you could get away with a word like "croutoned" and make it sound "legal"!!!!!!

soaplady said...

only you could use a word like "croutoned" and make itsound "legal"!!!!!!!lets have some more please! and while you're at it, and a bit of that pigeon breast please as iv'e never eaten it before!(you could say i am "pigeon curious" and thats not sexual..