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If you want your barbecue to be complete, here are 4 bruschette toppings using virgin olive oil.
(This post is in collaboration with Jamie’s Italian and his Buyer’s Guide To Olive Oil)
Every Italian Barbecue starts with a bruschetta: rustic bread cut in slices and toasted over the charcoal.
It is like the toast for an English breakfast,
For Italians, it is mandatory!
However before I even start to write the article, let’s get one thing straight:
I cringe when I hear Celebrity Chef’s pronouncing Bruschetta: BRUSHETTA!
There is a C in there!
It is pronounced BRUSKETTA,
and I can understand if a man (or woman) from the street pronounces it wrong, but if you are broadcasting to millions of people, get your pronunciations right before you go on air.
Jamie Oliver is one of the few who gets it right
Some people call them bruschette, which is ok. It is just the plural of bruschetta.
But moving back to the topping, usually bruschetta is flavoured with fresh garlic.
You just scrape the fresh garlic clove over the crusty bread and the garlic is grated by the crunchy toasted surface of the bread.
The classic is to pour some virgin olive oil on top, or a fresh tomato salad seasoned with virgin olive oil and basil leaves.
Before moving to the recipes let’s talk about olive oil.
This chart created by ‘Jamie’s Italian’, beautifully describes the different types of olive oil, where it comes from and how professionals taste it.
I always buy my virgin olive directly from the producers.
Every year my mother sends me 10 litres she buys from a relative that produces olive oil.
Otherwise if we go to Garlenda in Liguria we stop by a local producer and buy it directly off the olive press.
Sorry France, but it is half the price!
October is the month when olive oil is pressed, and we always wait for the new harvest to stock up for the year.
After 1 year the olive oil loses its flavour and increases in acidity, so we never buy more than 10 liters. If needed we stock it up during the year.
The chart is very comprehensive in its explanation and description.
For all bruschetta toppings, I use virgin olive oil.
But never use the virgin olive oil to make homemade mayonnaise, it just doesn’t work.
I will post the recipe in the next few weeks.
Olive oil should be stored in a dark container (light resistant) that is why it is sold in cans or in greenish bottles.
Every week I pour the virgin olive oil into small bottles which I sometimes flavour with hot chili.
If I infuse garlic or herbs into the oil I use it within 2 days or add some lemon to prevent the risk of botulism (toxic bacterial).
A typical Italian olive oil mix used for fish is Salmoriglio: virgin olive oil, parsley, garlic and lemon.
When I make all those magical potions and need to pour the virgin olive oil into smaller bottles, I always use No Spill Funnel (with strainer): Best Grip, Liquid Stopper – 5 inch Plastic Funnel – cup holds up to 750 ml or 25.36 US fl oz which has a safety handle.
Since the bottles are relatively small, I often tend to pour too much olive oil.
Lifting the funnel from the handle a valve closes the passage and I can safely move the funnel into the next bottle without losing a drop of this golden liquid.
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4 Easy Bruschette Toppings
So if you want to serve a variety of toppings for your bruschette, here are some ideas.
Bruschetta Virgin Olive oil and garlic are meant to be together, so I will propose 4 alternative toppings using these 2 ingredients.
- 1 loaf rustic bread
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- extra virgin olive oil
- cut the bread loaf in slices and toast them over the charcoal.
- scrape the fresh garlic clove over the crusty bread and the garlic is grated by the crunchy toasted surface of the bread.
- for other toppings ideas see my 4 types of Bruchette topping recipes