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Issue No 98
Spring 2004 
page 24

Garlic will help keep aphids off your roses and reduce blackspot. Simply stick three or four cloves in the soil around each rose, pressing them an inch into the ground, about six inches from the base of the plant.

During the First World War, when medicinal supplies ran out, doctors used crushed garlic to disinfect wounds.

Helene Pizzi's article on sage appeared in our
Summer 2003 issue.

 
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In a deep, large frying pan, put enough oil to just cover the bottom. Place on medium-high heat. Take your eggplant (use the dark purple long type) and, working very quickly so the eggplant won't become bitter, cut it into 1-inch cubes; drop them in the hot oil. Add several whole garlic cloves and toss. Then add tomatoes, either fresh or canned, and cook over medium heat until eggplant is nice and tender. Smother the dish with at least 1/2-cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese a minute before removing from heat.

Ahhh Bruschetta!
How could we live without this wonderful means of turning plain country bread into a gourmet treat? In Italy, particularly in the warm summer evenings at dinner under a pergola or the stars, waiters will slip platters piled high with bruschetta on the table as you wait for your expressly prepared food. Nibbling this delicious starter, sipping wine, and enjoying good company nearly assures a pleasant evening.

Classic: The secret to bruschetta (pronounced “bruce-KET-tah”) lies in a trio: rustic, country-style bread, fresh garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Slice the bread 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick and grill it on the barbecue or under the broiler, turning it only once, until well browned. Quickly rub each piece with a peeled garlic clove (go easy at first, so as not to make the flavor overpowering), sprinkle with salt, and then drizzle extra virgin olive oil over each piece. Serve hot.

Variations: As varied as operas are, so are ways to make this quintessential Italian dish. Try these:

  •  In a small saucepan place 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 peeled and chopped garlic cloves, 2 heaping tablespoons capers, 1/2 cup black and/or green olives (slightly chopped), and up to 3 tiny hot-hot peppers, according to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the olives and garlic begin to color. Add 1 inch of anchovy paste (or 1 chopped anchovy), 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 11/2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned. Salt to taste and simmer about 15 minutes. Serve hot in a bowl and allow guests to spoon the sauce directly on their bruschetta.
  •  Rub each slice of toasted bread with garlic and lay a slice of tomato on each with a leaf of fresh basil. Salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  •  Rub each slice of toasted bread with garlic and salt. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil. Cover each piece with thin slices of cheese (mozzarella, Parmesan, asiago, Swiss). Place under broiler until cheese is melted and serve hot.
  •  Make a quick pesto sauce by blending 1/2cup fresh basil leaves, 1/4teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon pine nuts, 1/2cup extra virgin olive oil, and, last but not least, 1 large peeled clove of garlic. Stir in enough freshly grated Romano cheese to make the consistency creamy. Spoon onto hot bruschetta.

 
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