Ina Garten‘s simple tip is going to take your favorite soups and salads to the next level.
“When most people are making croutons, I think what they do is they put the oil and the croutons in the pan at the same time,” Garten explains. “But what pros do, is they heat up the pan, put in a few tablespoons of olive oil —make sure the oil is really hot; with a hot pan it gets hot faster— and then put in the croutons. That way croutons get nice and brown but they don’t absorb the oil so much.”
The Food Network star says to also sprinkle the bread with lots of salt and pepper to give them more flavor. She also shared that her tip can work for other recipes as well.
“This is actually a great way to make sautéed onions, anything you’re sautéing in a pan,” she says. “Heat up the oil first. It will make such a difference.”
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After Garten finished toasting her croutons, she couldn’t help but immediately take a bite. “It’s very hot,” she says while laughing.
Garten noted that the recipe is perfect for utilizing leftover bread in the freezer or that “half eaten baguette from dinner.”
If the video of her whipping up the croutons looked familiar, it’s because it’s also the subject of the cover image on her new cookbook Cook Like a Pro, on stands Oct. 23.
“I think what makes this book unique is it’s so packed with really good information that will help people understand what they’re doing wrong so they can do it better,” she told PEOPLE in April.