There are a number of ways to use up old crusty bread -- there's french toast breakfasts, pulverising them into bread crumbs, making a topping for a savory casserole, etc. but nothing beats fresh croutons, in my mind. They pack such a flavor punch and are the key to making a salad into a hearty meal. They are like wee dressing sponges, soaking up the aromas and sass of the vinaigrette and making each bite burst with excitement.
Making croutons is also so lazy and easy -- such a high reward for such a low effort (if only lots more things in life worked this way, we'd all be crouton geniuses!).
Just grab your leftover toast or over-the-hill bread, dice into 1/2 inch or so cubes. Toss in a smidgen of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, paprika and garlic powder if you are feeling fancy. Spread onto a baking sheet and cook for about 7 minutes at 375 or for about 2-3 minutes under the broiler. Just make sure to watch for them (and smell too!), because although I love crustyness, char-burnt just won't do.
Toss with your favorite salad (D and I are currently obsessed with Cesar) and voila.