While staying at our favourite Lucca villa rental called La Colina del Sole we were able to buy home pressed olive oil “di frantoio” from friends of the cook who prepared meals for our holiday villas in Lucca Her homemade cooking as you can see from her suggested menu uses liberal quantities of olive oil so with the knowledge that olive oil is excellent for your health and memory… I asked for the recipes of her bruschetta and her farro Delicacies that you must try when you rent a villa in Tuscany as they embody the Tuscan flavour you encounter when eating in at your villa rentals in Tuscany or enjoy the delights of the best regional restaurants near your villas for rent in Tuscany
The olive oil we bought has a strong sweet taste and a strong green colour, and the trick is to eat it raw to get the best out of its nutritional properties and its flavour.
To make the bruschetta use Italian bread, potato bread for preference that is one day old allow two slices per person. If you are serving 10 slices; just before your guests arrive, finely chop some vine tomatoes [a heaped handful will do ] and with their juice soak them in a bowl with a least 5 tablespoons of the best olive oil, add a pinch of salt. Then peel garlic cloves, and rub one raw clove at a time over the surface of the slightly dry bread, one clove will cover the surface of 2 to 3 slices of bread. Finely chop at least 20 basil leaves and add to the tomato and olive oil mixture, ladle the chopped tomatoes and basil leaves onto the bread slices allowing the fresh tomato water and oil mixture to ooze through the bread and … Presto one very delicious antipasto served up !
To cook Farro or spelt in the traditional garfagnana way for at least 12 people, cook the spelt as you would rice, with 3 cups of good stock to one cup of spelt, fry the spelt gently in a tablespoon of olive oil [ not the REALLY good freshly pressed olive oil but good extra virgin oil that has been kept out of the sunlight.] Fry the spelt in the hot oil until lightly golden add the three cups of boiling stock. Cook for about 15 minutes until most of the stock has been absorbed by the spelt, while it is cooking cut 5 to 8 vine tomatoes into rough cubes keeping the skin and all also finely chop at least 30 leaves of basil. When the farro has finished cooking and is still warm add the tomatoes and basil and at least 4 generous tablespoons of the best olive oil. This dish can be eaten warm or cold and can be kept for at least 3 days in the cool part of the fridge.
Buon Apetito !