Here we are with the third round of our Cucina Conversations. This month you will see Olive Oil as protagonist of our Conversations. A Real Pride of our made in Italy. From sweets to savory, each of the Cucina Conversations Ladies, from all over the world have chosen a recipe. Let’s Discover them together:
Carmen su The Heirloom Chronicles will tell us how to prepare Melanzane sott’olio
Rosemarie su TurinMamma through the search of the real Piedmontese’s recipe, will explain us her own Bagna cauda.
Daniela su la Dani Gourmet tells us a typical recipe of the Tuscan City of Lucca, La Farinata di Cavolo Nero con Olio Nuovo
Flavia di Falvia’s Flavor will prepare us Fagioli Cannellini all’Olio, this is absolutely one of my favorite.
Fracesca di Pancakes and Biscotti tells us how to make Cicoria Ripassata, a must of typical Roman cuisine.
Lisa di Italian Kiwi describes us a tasty Tapenade, Patè di Olive, ideal for your aperitifs.
And now It’s my turn. I’m going to write about how to appreciate the quality of true Olive Oil, and my recipe will be Bruschetta con I Peperoni Arrostiti.
This year, in Calabria we are going to enjoy a well earned rest. The olive trees have time to recover, and we can also give them the proper attention and care, as they need. Anyway, in Italy, there are those who produce Olive Oil every year. Surely you can, you just need to practice an intensive cultivation technique, like the one of our friends in Spain and Greece, for example. But at the expense of quality and nutrition facts, for which the Italian Olive Oil has no equal. Everybody knows, that it is the basic ingredient of Mediterranean diet.
We are witnessing every year to an increasing of Olive oil demand to which italian company struggling to respond. The recent problems in Puglia, caused by a bacterium called Xylella, have weakened our production. In Calabria we still resist. But Puglia is not as far from us, and Olive Oil producers are a bit concerned about.
An Intensive cultivations, forces olive trees to produce constantly every year, involving great risks for the future of the trees. Lands are often altered by excessive fertilizations, with the consequent poisoning of the soil, so they will become unsuitable for any type of crop.
Younger consumers nowadays are educated and more aware about the quality and origin of food they put on their table. But often, the origin is not synonymous of goodness. Production techniques determine the genuineness of a product. And these, unfortunately, are not included in the label.
If you are not so lucky to have an olive grove behind your house, and if you are of those who like to be careful on what bring or not on your table, my truly advice is, to prefer products of smaller and organic farms, where you can find the slow food symbol. Italy is pretty made up of countryside, and sometimes you just really turn the corner to find one. Follow your nose and sharpen your sight. Better to prefer little farms, and why not, those of the younger, who are bringing us a world to rediscover and recover. Give them your confidence, some of them have sparks shining in their eyes.
Rarely, just one or two times, it happened that I bought Olive oil at the supermarket. Be sure, read the label with the words Made in Italy, or pay it twenty euro per liter is not a guarantee of genuineness. The good one does not burn in your throat, and has not an exaggerated scent of fresh olives. It has no green color, but a golden one. If the smell is too intense, it means that the olive was unripe when it was harvested. The right harvesting time is when fruits begin to blacken. It needs to respect times of each tree, that has a ranging time, from October to January, depending on the variety of the olive and from the growing area .
Old people always say that Olives are harvested in alternate years. We are trying to Respect this old tradition. We could say that is Nature herself that demand it. And we are very thankful to her. Harvesting Olives is maybe one of the hardest agricultural jobs. When you are at the oil mill, contemplating your boxes full of fruit, you miss your backache, or if you couldn’t miss, you know that you are going to feel well soon. Grain by grain, drop by drop, your work will became gold.
Some People drink fresh Olive oil from a glass making strange gargling. I pour it on a slice of fresh bread, so I get a perfect sponge effect. There is also another method to taste the freshness of the Olive Oil: Bruschetta.
Olive Oil, Oregano and tomato, or Just Oil and Oregano. Lots of our dishes are made with olive oil. We also use it for frying every things. Olive oil is one of the best frying oil because of its smoke point that is higher than other vegetable oils. About 210°C.
My Cucina Conversations Recipe will be Bruschetta with Roasted Peppers, perfect to taste the freshness of the olive oil and at the same time, the best way to save a dinner after a long day at work. Lazing on the sofa, in front of your fireplace, with a good glass of red one, watching your children’s cartoons… best evening of ever 🙂
To prepare this recipe I use the fireplace coals. But you can roast your Pepperoni and bread in the oven or as you prefer.
Bruschetta all’Olio d’Oliva e Peperoni Arrostiti
You just need:
Pepperoni as much as you want. You can choose the type you prefer, I often use my Garden’s one, that are small and round. But if you want to realize a rainbow choose the yellow, red and green type.
Bruschetta’s Bread, you can also use Friselle or Toasted Bread if you like a crunchy bruschetta.
clove of garlic
Salt, oregano and for those who like it, Chilli peppers.
It might seem easy to roast peppers, but it is not. You need a lot of patience.
As soon as the coals are ready, put peppers above them. You can also use an oven grill. It is the same. Most important thing is, cooking them slowly. If their skin burns quickly, they could seem cooked outside but not inside. Turn them often, until the heat will reach the hearth of the peppers.
Once cooked, place them in a bowl, better if in a terracotta bowl. The warmth will end their cooking, the skin will soften completely and it will be easier to peel them.
After peeling, remove seeds and cut them as you wish. Put them in a bowl, and season with salt, oregano and oil, enough. Let them rest for a while ‘.
Now cut the bread in slices. But this depends on what type of bread you will use. Roast it on the coals, using a grid. Remember that in absence of coals there is your oven grill.
Take the garlic clove and rub it gently on the bread. I’m not a Garlic lover, but in some recipes it is a MUST. Bruschetta with pepperoni is one of them. But I recommend you, a light touch. You don’t need to ward off Vampires. For the spicy lovers, after garlic you can also rub a bit of chili peppers.
Put Pepperoni on each slices of Bread. Have a last round of oregano and olive oil. Now you are ready to describe the qualities of your olive oil, and of course, many many bis.
Don’t miss our December meeting. There will be a lot of Delicious Christmas Recipe and much much more. Stay tuned on #CucinaConversations
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