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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


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.

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.

Note: Replenish the jar with as much oil as you used, and store for the next time.

This recipe is from Celebrations Italian Style by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company in 1995.


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