About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Poached Tuna and Spinach Roll | Main | Carciofi alla Giudia- Crisp Fried Whole Artichokes »

Bruschetta - Roman Garlic Bread

How many Italian cookbooks actually give you the step by step for something as basic as bruschetta? Like falling off a log, right? Well, truthfully, yes.

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Just because it's so simple as to hardly be a recipe at all, doesn't mean it isn't a satisfying project. Especially if you let yourself concentrate on being in the moment and coaxing the very best out of the ingredients.

I made a fresh loaf of rustic bread. While it was cooling I fired up the grill so the grate would be good and hot. When the loaf had cooled completely, I sliced and grilled the bread.

Then I rubbed the warm grilled slices with freshly smashed garlic; spread on the olive oil; and sprinkled with course salt and freshly cracked pepper.

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SCREETCH.....rewind. "What? You spread on the olive oil? Don't you mean drizzled?"

Nope, I mean spread. Like butter, with a knife. I've been spreading my olive oil for about five years now. Ever since I discovered that I can keep that fresh pressed taste of October for as long as my freezer is plugged in.

My favorite grassy, peppery oil comes from my friend, Mauro Colonna, the owner of Le Casa Gialle, near Perugia in Umbria. He has a standing order from me every fall. Two 5 litre tins for me, and a half-dozen bottles for Christmas gifts. From the day his pickers hit the trees to the day my unfiltered green gold is been delivered by the UPS lady can be counted on two hands. This is a major investment - mainly because of the shipping charges, which are more than the oil itself. So, I want the flavor to last. That is how I came to discover freezing.

I found that when I take a container out of my freezer and transfer it to my fridge, it will thaw to a soft-spread consistance. Similar to tub margarine. Except, it melts so incredibly fast that you can't have it out of the fridge for more than a few minutes at a time. Once melted, it doesn't return to the smooth soft-spread consistancy again. That's why I freeze in small 4oz containers.

Here is what olive oil looks like in its three states. Frozen, soft-spread, & liquid.

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OK you purists, fire away. Tell me what you think of me messing with Mama Italia's finest product.
Tell me that I should just be satisfied to let my oil slowly mellow.
Tell me that I will begin to take the beauty of that wonderful fresh green taste for granted if I can have it any time I want.
And then, when you're finished chastizing me...
...come be my guest for a summer meal featuring autumn's oil.

Comments (5)

Deborah- I remember hearing that you freeze your oil. That's spo interesting. Even if others don't agree, who cares? You know how good it tastes. And also, I'm amazed at how many people don't know how to make good Bruschetta. I think it's the freshly ground black pepper and the sea salt that makes all of the difference (well, and of course good olive oil)!

One of my favorite threads ever was the "Olive Oil Wars" on ST! (That and the Eggplant parm controversy!) I still have 1 1/2 bottles of Mauro's oil from last year.

So what did you think of the recipe?

I actually was very impressed at the instructional aspect. My husband, who can't cook ANYTHING, could follow it.

Ray Anne:

I was taken by the passion and commitment with which you undertook this seemingly no-brainer recipe. Freshly baked bread? Perfectly heated grill? How could you go wrong by freezing the olive oil? Apparently, you can't, if we're to believe internet research. So, freeze away. I'm thinking of all of the olive oil that won't be going rancid in my overheated New York City apartment ever again. Thanks for the tip.

Freezing the oil is a great idea!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 13, 2010 1:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Poached Tuna and Spinach Roll.

The next post in this blog is Carciofi alla Giudia- Crisp Fried Whole Artichokes.

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