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.
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.
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.
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.