12th century olive oil mill
GangivecchioLook what I just received! A photo of the olive oil mill I blogged about yesterday! I want to thank Mariann Vandenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) for sending it to me. Mariann planned a perfect trip for us! And she obviously has a better camera than I have!
It is hard to judge the size of the mill and the room. If my memory is correct, the base of the mill was maybe 3 feet high and 5 feet in diameter. The monks would hold onto the long handle and walk around the outside of the mill, crushing the olives. Oh what we do for that perfect golden green oil!
Have you ever eaten Bagna Cauda, that wonderful warm "olive oil bath" for crudites. There are so many stories about how the recipe was developed, too many to really find the truth. All I know is, Bagna Cauda is wonderful! Since it is warm, served in a little cup over a candle, most people feel it is a winter dish. Trust me, with all of the spring veggies about to pop up in our gardens, don't wait for next winter! Enjoy it now!
Photo by Rubber Slippers in Italy
Bagna Cauda, A Piedmontese fondue to be served with fresh raw vegetables
One head garlic or to taste
1 to 1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, buy the best you can afford!
8 whole salted anchovies, briefly rinsed in water.
Assorted vegetables for dipping, including carrot strips, cauliflower, jicama, broccoli, celery, Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus
In a food processor, blend the anchovies, the peeled cloves from a head of garlic, and about half a cup of olive oil. Process until it is the consistency of a paste. Pour into a heavy saucepan and cook over very low heat for about 25 minutes, until lightly brown in color. To serve, pour into bagna cauda warmer, or small fondue pot, and add olive oil to thin slightly. There are some recipes that call for 1/4 cup softened butter to be blended in at this point., I never turn down butter! Use this mixture to dip vegetables or bread, or serve over grilled polenta or roasted vegetables.
Be aware however, "one head of garlic" can be huge, can be small....can be mild, can be strong. Some people like to steep the cloves in hot milk for an hour to remove some of the harsh taste of raw garlic. I personally feel the traditional way is the only way. It is suppose to be garlicky!