‘Briciole’ is Italian for crumbs, breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs were used as a substitute for grated cheese during lean times, but have become an ingredient in their own right, especially with pasta. Breadcrumbs add substance to the greens, texture, of course, and also an extra taste element, especially when whole grain breadcrumbs are used.

This salad can be prepared with raw or cooked greens, depending on your preference. To toast breadcrumbs, cook in a tablespoon or so of oil for a few minutes until golden brown, or, in the case of whole grain breadcrumbs, a darker brown. You could also use toasted wheatgerm. I’ve also made toasted breadcrumbs from toast–once it’s cooled, I crumble it, and toss it with some oil, or not.

2 T vegetable oil
1 – 1 1/2 c finely chopped onions
1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch mizuna or other greens, chopped
1 t peeled, minced fresh ginger and/or 1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 T vinegar or lemon juice
1 c toasted breadcrumbs or toasted wheat germ
salt and pepper, to taste

Cooked Greens Salad:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook onions for about 10 minutes, until they start to turn golden. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add mizuna and cook, stirring, until just wilted. If you are using other, sturdier greens, they will need more time to wilt. Stir in ginger and/or red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Remove from heat. Drizzle vinegar or lemon juice over, then stir in breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Serve from the skillet or transfer to a serving bowl.

Raw Greens Salad:

2. Omit onions and garlic, or not. Combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs in a salad bowl. Taste for seasonings. Stir in breadcrumbs.