Peppery Herbed Breadcrumbs


Crunchy, piquant breadcrumbs make a great topping for gratins and root vegetable bakes, and they give plainly cooked pasta an appetising texture – mix in the warm crumbs as you toss the pasta before serving. The crumbs are also good strewed over grilled tomatoes, fish or poultry. They will keep for a week in an airtight polythene bag in the fridge.


  • coarse breadcrumbs 75 g/2¾ oz preferably from a stale ciabatta or sourdough loaf
  • mixed herbs such as thyme, oregano and rosemary chopped to make 1 tbsp
  • black peppercorns ½–1 tsp, coarsely ground
  • sea salt flakes ½ tsp
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  • unsalted butter a large knob
  • garlic clove 1, finely chopped


Tip the breadcrumbs onto a plate and mix with the herbs, black pepper and sea salt flakes. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the garlic and sizzle for a few seconds until barely coloured.

Add the breadcrumb mixture and fry for 3–4 minutes, tossing, until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels.