My dictionary defines a crouton as “a small piece of fried or toasted bread served with soup or used as a garnish.” Fried or toasted. I always used to make croutons by scattering cubed bread on a tray, drizzling them with olive oil and popping them in a hot oven. That was when all four of us — Speedy, me and the girls — were all home and ate together everyday. With the girls off to college, it just seems too wasteful to fire up the oven and make croutons for just two people. So I started making my croutons on the stovetop. With herbs, of course.
To make herbed croutons on the stove top, place the cubed bread in a hot non-stick frying pan. Drizzle with olive oil, finely chopped herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme — whatever you like), add spices (ground spices in powder form are especially useful), cooked until lightly browned, tossing occasionally.
If you don’t want the tiny specks of green in your croutons but enjoy herb-y flavors and aromas, you may use herb-infused olive oil (see how to make your own herb-infused olive oil).