Friday, August 21, 2009

Dream come true

I dream about fresh tomato and basil bruschetta all winter long - chop sun-warmed tomatoes and basil, add lots of fresh garlic, olive oil, a bit of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Brush some good bread with a bit of olive oil and toast it, then put your tomato mixture on top under the broiler for a few minutes. Yum! Bruschetta comes from 'bruscare' meaning to roast over coals. Traditionally in Italy, olives were taken to the local mill for pressing in November and December, where the growers would typically take some country bread with them to toast over a small fireplace in the corner of the pressing room. When the oil emerges from the press, the grower would toast bits of the bread on the fire to sample the oil with. The next step is rubbing the toasted bread with garlic. Then, it is finished off with small, diced onions, tomatoes, and herbs. Using the best olive oil you can find or afford is important, as it adds a lot of flavour and will compliment your tomatoes. And flavourful, crusty bread is essential, too - wood fired from Wildfire Bakery is very good ( located at 1517 Quadra St.) I had the privilege of working at a wonderful Italian bakery for a number of years, and learned how to really appreciate good food, eating, and love of life from the owners and their families. The warmth and love of family is present in the food, and it is this I remember when preparing my bruschetta. An Italian blessing for food:

Signore del mondo, il pane della terra ci sostiene, il vino rallegra il nostro cuore e l'olio illumina il nostro volto. Sii benedetto per queste creature, doni preziosi che vengono da te per la consolazione di noi uomini. -->

Translation: Lord of the World, Bread from the earth sustains us Wine gladdens our heart And oil makes our faces shine. May You be blessed for these creations -- Precious gifts that come from you For the comfort of us human beings

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