A little bit of crouton makes the lettuce leaf go down, and homemade clearly trump purchased. Cut a loaf of good country bread (crusts removed) into 1-inch cubes, enough to generate 3 cups. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Arrange the cubes in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then add 2 cloves of minced garlic and toss to distribute (if you are not a garlic person, simply skip this step). Bake another 15 minutes, turning once, until they are evenly golden. Serve warm or room temperature within a few hours of making. Cornmeal croutons are also delicious.