As almost any kid who has taken one of my summer cooking camps can attest, garlic (and for that matter, onions as well) go into just about every dish except dessert. Garlic is versatile. It can be pasted, minced, chopped, crushed, roasted, sweated and sautéed.

In honor of National Garlic Day, here is one of my favorite garlic recipes that uses yet another technique – caramelization. It also uses day-old bread cubes – giving one more reason to never throw away stale bread.

Caramelized Garlic Croutons

¼ cup olive oil
8 whole cloves garlic, lightly crushed, peeled and trimmed as necessary
2 cups French bread cubes (or any other tasty bread)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:  Cook the garlic in the olive oil over low heat until the garlic turns a light golden brown. Add the bread cubes and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally until the bread has browned lightly. Remove the garlic if desired (or warn your guests that they may get whole cloves!). Use in soups, salads or as a garnish.

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