Sunday, August 2, 2009

R2R: Bruschetta and Limoncello

oops, this got saved as draft instead of published.

This month's challenge is brought to you by Lauren of Fried Pickles and Ice Cream.
A little summer taste of Italy! A delicious and simple antipasta (appetizer), Bruschetta and a digestivo (after-dinner drink), Limoncello.

(4 servings)
4 slices Rustic Bread
2 cups chopped Roma Tomatoes
1 clove Garlic
4 to 8 leaves Basil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt

-Heat grill or grill pan to medium high heat
-Slice THICK pieces of bread
-Place bread on grill until each side has a nice golden color
-Rub garlic on top side of each bread piece
-Pile tomatoes on
-sprinkle one big pinch of salt per piece on top of the tomatoes
-generously drizzle oilve oil on top of tomatoes (about 2 to 3 tablespoons per piece)
-add basil to the top

1 liter grain alcohol
5 1/2 cups water
5 large lemons (or 10 small lemons)
2 1/2 cups sugar

-Gently wash lemons in cool water to remove any dirt
-Peel away zest from lemon leaving as little pith (the white stiff) as possible.
-Put peels in a large sealed jar or container (I reused the alcohol bottle)
-Pour alcohol over peels and place container in a cool place.
-Leave the mixture for 7 days.
-Every day give the container a little swirl. You will see the alcohol become darker and darker every day.
-After 7 days, strain the alcohol by using a coffee filter.
-Prepare the simple syrup. Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar to dissolve.
-Mix the syrup with the alcohol. BE CAREFUL... DO NOT DO THIS NEAR A FLAME!!!
-Pour the limoncello into bottles or containers. Let cool completely. Store in the freezer until ready to serve!
*Date your limoncello. After a year it will no longer be delicious.

Temper's Take:
The brushetta was wonderful, like Lauren said the garlic just melted into the bread and the tomatoes and olive oil were lovely. Unfortunately it was apparently a bad week for basil and what I found i wouldn't eat, so I let a little dried sit in the olive oil for several hours and decorated the top with Kale. I am thinking this would be a good excuse to invest in some really nice olive oil and it would be a great starter for an evening of grilling. It was a hit with us.
The limoncello suffered from car troubles and a dry county, with no car I couldn't find anyone to drive me an hour to the closest liqueur store, so i tried putting my lemon peels in a simple syrup. It was pretty and turned a delicate yellow color almost immediately. It did not however darken and a week later I had lemon cleaner. So the lesson i learned was sugar does not solve everything and procrastination is bad, cause I could see how it would be a scrumptious tipple, I just never reached that point.