pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Ribolitta would be a good alternative. You begin by making a minestrone and then on the second day cube the bread and whisk it into the soup. Even though basil is not "in season" you can still find the hot house variety.
In similar vein, pappa al pomodoro is another great, cold-weather soup that makes use of leftover, stale bread. Since its other ingredients are cans/boxes/jars of tomatoes, basil, Parmesan, aliums and olive oil, the nourishing nursery food is a harbinger of summer. Very easy to put together quickly.
Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52
Make croutons for salad. Dice up the bread; toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on baking tray and bake until golden brown in 375 degree oven, about 15 min
ok shameless self promotion but i just today posted about a winter panzanella on my blog! it calls for rye bread, but you could sub it for your baguette :) http://mynameisyeh.com...
HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
Pasta with bread crumbs:
Try the contest finalist! http://food52.com/recipes.... I also love making versions of the Zuni chicken with bread salad: http://smittenkitchen.com...
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
If you're not sure what you want to do with it, I'd cube them and freeze them separately on a baking sheet. When hard, transfer to a zip lock bag. You can toast them later for croutons and season as you wish at that time. Or toast them and make crumbs of them.
Making the Zuni Chicken is a fantastic idea!
amysarah is a trusted home cook.
I've frozen day old baguette, cut in slices, then popped them directly in the oven (no defrosting necessary) to make crostini. With an earthy topping, like sauteed mushroom, or caramelized onions, and gorgonzola, whole grain would be delicious.
Bread & Butter puddingHavn't made it for years ... But I think I'll make it tonight. Delicious
French onion soup!
Cube that sucker and stuff it into a chicken with sliced lemon, garlic and onion, sage leaves, a cored, peeled apple and some walnuts. Mini-Thanksgiving in March!
Nancy is a food writer, historian, and author of many books, her most recent being Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin.
In winter I love to boost the fill quotient of soups the way my Tuscan neighbors always do. A slice of stale bread per serving, toast it lightly, rub it with a cut clove of garlic, dribble it with a dose of good olive oil (extra-virgin, goes without saying), put it in the bottom of each serving bowl and spoon hot soup over the top. Just give the soup time enough to be somewhat absorbed into the bread and away you go!
I wholeheartedly recommend Merrill's "Cooking for Clara" sausage and greens strata. It is delicious! http://food52.com/recipes...
Garlic soup! This one looks especially appealing: http://foodwishes.blogspot...
Chunk it up, toss into your food processor, whirl until fine, spread on a baking sheet, pop into a hot oven, toast until brown, cool, bag, freeze and VOILA: bread crumbs when ever a recipe calls for them. This is my favorite way of disposing of loaves that have begun to grow stale.
Ottam Ottolenghi's bread fritters sound very odd, but they're really, really good.
You can find the recipe in their book "Jerusalem," or the bread fritter recipe here http://waywardoven.blogspot... .
So many great ideas already! You could also freeze the bread and make the panzanella when tomatoes and basil are in season. I use stale bread for croutons, as others have mentioned. There are many lovely ways to spice them up, or add Parmesan to them.
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