I spent years buying croutons for Caesar salad and to throw into soup, until one day I had 1/2 a Ciabatta loaf left over, and I thought I’d give it a go. Easy-peasy, and delicious, plus you get masses of them from a really small amount of bread. Go on, try it!



  • One or two shallow roasting pans (Swiss roll tins are ideal)
  • A large freezer bag



INGREDIENTS: to make enough for a really large Caesar salad, and lots left over


  • 1/2 a ciabatta loaf, or other bread
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin Olive oil
  • a teaspoon of herbs de Provence, or a selection of fresh herbs, very finely chopped
  • salt and pepper



  • Heat the oven to 200 degrees, and put the trays in to heat
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the bread into small bites. I don’t like croutons that are too big, so about 1cm wide and 2cm long is about right for me, but whatever suits you is fine too
  • Put the bread into the plastic bag and add 1/2 the Olive oil
  • Hold the bag closed with one hand and shake the bread into the oil briskly but gently until it’s well dispersed. If the bread is too dry, add as much of the remaining oil as is needed. Less is definitely more in this case.
  • Add the herbs and seasoning to the bag and shake again
  • Pour onto the trays, spread it out well, so that each crouton is separated from its neighbour
  • Roast for 10 mins then remove onto kitchen paper and allow to cool completely
  • Keep in an air-tight box until needed.

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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