Lorenza's Grilled Bread / Bruschetta alla Lorenza


According to my Reggio Emilian friend Lorenza Iori, it is la madre, the mother oil, that provides the flavorful taste to this bruschetta, which Lorenza serves as a quick antipasto. Extra virgin olive oil is steeped with fragrant, woodsy-smelling juniper berries, hot red peppers, and bits of green bell peppers.


  • 2 cups Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes or 2 small dried hot red peppers, slit
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 6 slices Italian bread, cut 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled


  1. Place the oil, bell peppers, hot pepper, and juniper berries in a jar, and shake well. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.
  2. Toast or grill the bread slices. Place on individual serving plates, and rub the garlic over the slices. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the seasoned oil over each slice and serve immediately.
  3. Note: Replenish the jar with as much oil as you used, and store for the next time.
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