All you have to do is add a little olive oil to a sauté pan. Heat it a bit. Throw in a peeled, smashed clove of garlic. Add about a cup of breadcrumbs (regular, panko, fresh-made, either/or) and sauté until golden or dark brown. Season with salt & pepper. Discard garlic clove.
I used to only make this when I made pasta with a seafood sauce. Toasted, flavored breadcrumb sprinkled on the pasta instead of cheese is the best way to enjoy seafood pasta.
But now I go crazy. I’m topping fish filets and then roasting them in the oven with some added lemon. (Sometimes I add a little grated parmigiano to the breadcrumb.)
I’m mixing the toasted breadcrumb with roasted or sautéed vegetables. (Zucchini, roasted peppers, string beans, asparagus.)
Sprinkle some on top of scrambled eggs. Add it to the salad. Stuff a chicken breast. Or a mushroom or tomato.
The crunch, the added flavor, the look of it (rustic, surprising, okay, yes, exciting) takes your dish to a deeper level. Maybe it’s from the cucina povera but necessity is often the muse of several bouts of serendipity.