Cheese Replacement Therapy

Am not usually a fan of 'substitutes', like pretending stuff is butter when it just isn't. That said, pasta with no cheese can feel like it is missing something; husband in particular loved parmesan pre-cholesterol-gate. These (garlicky if you like) croutons or breadcrumbs are brilliant - and if you sprinkle them over pasta or risotto, they definitely add something. It's not exactly 'like' cheese - but is a very tasty option if you can't eat cheese with salads or pasta etc and has similar applications. These go some way towards making the best Caesar salads, bakes, pastas and risottos - all without saturated fat.


  • Bread
  • Garlic (optional)

To make these surprisingly useful breadcrumbs, whizz up a bit of stale bread (fresh is good too) until you achieve the consistency you’re after…

Breadcrumbs, I’m guessing, are finer; croutons chunkier

If you are after a garlicky crouton or breadcrumb, whizz a clove up with the breadcrumbs

Put a frying pan on – no oil – and when it is hot, add your breadcrumbs/croutons

Definitely keep stirring, and don’t leave them!  If they burn (and they will burn really quickly) they’ll be ruined.  Locatelli talks about cooking them in the pan until they go the brown of a friar’s cassock (maybe, not sure if I have remembered this right) which I think is pretty dark brown… In my experience, if you wait until they are all this colour, some will have already burnt.  If you wait until some start going quite dark brown, and then quickly tip them out of the pan and into a bowl – they’ll be delicious

(So delicious that a lot of them go missing just after cooking.   According to my husband, they’re as good as crisps, which is why they don’t last long in the kitchen in a bowl.)

We use these in recipes like stuffed peppers, tomatoes or mushrooms; with all sorts of pastas and risottos; sprinkled over salads; baked with fish or meat; to coat fritters in…  the list is endless (and tasty)

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