Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using ciabatta, sourdough, a baguette, or a white loaf of bread (the kind with a good crust, not the pre-sliced sandwich bread), slice a piece, crosswise, for each person dining (or two pieces if using a baguette). Cut into bite-size cubes. Toss the cubes in
a baking pan with extra virgin olive oil , sea salt , freshly cracked pepper, and fresh herbs, if desired.
Bake the croutons for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy. Cool and then add to salad.
Toss with dressing.
Cook’s note: I like to toss the salad and let it sit a few minutes before serving so that the dressing can be absorbed by the croutons a little. That way the croutons are still crunchy, but also have a softness that seeps out flavor as you eat them. These are especially good with the Garlic-Dijon dressing.