It’s Because “Olive” You So Much.

I do.

“Olive” you so much. ♥ (See the heart? That shows how much I really mean it!) And I really do.

And do you know what else I love so very, very much? … You don’t? You haven’t guessed Popeye, or “other reindeer,” even? … No? Well, I guess I’ll tell you, then.

I ♥ Crisco’s fine line of exquisite olive oils. (See the heart again?) I really do. I love them so much I have photoshoots with ‘em, and you don’t see me doing that with my nail clippers, now do you? Because believe me, the things you see me photograph are the things I love.

Very Best Bruschetta.

Crisco has partnered with Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program to offer me a full-size bottle of each of their excellent cooking olive oils: Extra Virgin (EVOO!), Pure, & Light Tasting. And do you know what couldn’t have been better? I had just bought all the ingredients to make a few of my favorite recipes which feature olive oil. “Olive” that!

(Okay, okay – I’ll quit on the puns. :-) )

My favorite “olive oil” recipe is a dinnertime staple in this house. This is my husband’s very favorite meal, and he will request it EVERY time as his meal choice in my meal plans. (I’ve had to put a ban on it, that he can only request it every other meal plan!) My friend Marissa shared a bowl of this dish with our family back in 2005, and we were all over-the-moon for it. I begged her for the recipe, and I’m going to share it with you.

Because I ♥ you. I really do! Farfalle with Spicy Sausage & Broccoli Rabe. (Doesn’t that just sound fancy?! And everyone knows “fancy” means delish except when it comes to escargot.)

Very Best Bruschetta.

But before I tell you how to make my husband’s favorite dish, I’m going to share with you my NEW favorite side or appetizer. (Or breakfast, or midnight snack, or party food, or… well, anytime you’re hungry!) I’ve come up with a really great name for this, too – one of those recipes you’ll never forget because the name is so stellar.

Very Best Bruschetta. ♥

Very Best Bruschetta.

I had never made bruschetta at home before, but I ADORE having it when we got out for dinner. It didn’t seem that hard to make, and I thought it would be a perfect pairing with the pasta dish. As always, I’m never wrong, and it was WONDERFUL! ;-)

Now, when it comes to good bruschetta, what is the vital ingredient? Is it the bread? The tomatoes? Well, while those things are extremely important, I think the true magic comes from the olive oil! Something just *happens* when you use a full-flavored, buttery-rich olive oil, and the crispy bread becomes crispier, the tomatoes become juicier, and the taste becomes Italian-er! ♥

Do start with an amazing bread, though. I intended to use a heart French loaf, but instead opted for an Asiago Garlic cheese loaf, and I can promise you this change was WORTH IT.

Very Best Bruschetta.

Gather up the very best, very freshest veggies you can find. If you’ve got a garden in your backyard, pull from it. If you don’t, splurge on the very best you can buy. Trust me on this one. You want the VERY BEST BRUSCHETTA, right?!

Very Best Bruschetta.

If you’re shopping for tomatoes, I hope you can find some still on the vine, like these. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more beautiful tomatoes!

Very Best Bruschetta.

Here’s another tip: get one of those fancy glass bottles for your olive oil. You know, like you see on TV? I just bought one a few weeks ago, and for the first time in my kitchen, I felt like a “real cook.” Plus, the tiny metal spout really helps for drizzling the olive oil over your sliced bread – nothing could be easier!

Very Best Bruschetta.

I used Crisco’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the bruschetta, bringing out the most full flavor possible. And if a tiny bit drips down the spout when you’re done, just swipe it with your finger & lick it up. It’s THAT GOOD, folks. ;-)

Let your bread sit for a while on your baking sheet, and it will really soak in all that buttery olive goodness. This will yield the softest centers & crispiest toasty edges to your bruschetta. And while you’re waiting, you can prepare your tomato mixture. Chop up 1/2 a large red onion, about 7 medium tomatoes (remove the seeds first), and 1/2 cup of diced fresh basil. Toss the mixture in 1-1/2 tsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar. Taste it, and then salt & pepper to your liking. Set aside, and preheat your oven.

Very Best Bruschetta.

Bake your bread for 12-13 minutes, or until the edges are a deep, golden-brown. While the bread is baking, skin & halve a large clove of fresh garlic. The *second* the bread is out of the oven, rub the cut edge of garlic all over the warm slices to infuse extra garlic flavor. (If using a regular French loaf, consider roasting a few whole cloves of garlic beforehand, then squeezing them from the skin, and spreading over the toasts.)

Very Best Bruschetta.

While you’re bread is still warm, top with heaping spoonfuls of the tomato mixture. Serve warm, sprinkling a bit of freshly-grated Parmesan on top if you like, and TRY to save some room for your pasta later, too. ;-)

Very Best Bruschetta.

And now, the recipes. I keep my promises to you because I ♥ you.

Very Best Bruschetta

    • 1 loaf crusty bread (french, Asiago Garlic cheese, or whatever else sounds tasty)
    • Crisco’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for drizzling & tomato mixture)
    • fresh garlic
    • 2 lbs. of tomatoes, seeded & diced (about 7 medium-size)
    • 1/2 large red onion, diced
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
    • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
    • salt & pepper


Carve bread into 1/2″ slices, and lay flat on a large baking sheet. (It’s okay if the edges are touching.) Drizzle heavily with olive oil, and set aside to absorb for a while.

Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium-size bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, basil, balsamic vinegar, 1-1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper; toss very well and set aside.

Bake bread for 12-13 minutes, or until edges are a deep golden-brown. While baking, skin & cut a large clove of fresh garlic. Remove bread from oven, and immediately rub the cut side of garlic all over the slices.

Top with heaping spoonfuls of tomato mixture, and serve immediately. Yield: 24 pieces.

Farfalle with Spicy Sausage & Broccoli Rabe
(recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis, though not on her website)

  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe, stems trimmed (sometimes called broccolini)
  • 1 lb. farfalle pasta
  • 3 Tbsp. Crisco’s Pure Olive Oil
  • 19 oz. sweet turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste


Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1-2 minutes. Remove and strain the broccoli rabe; transfer to a plate/bowl. Bring the reserved cooking water back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. I chose Crisco’s Pure Olive Oil to enhance the flavor of the pasta with a buttery taste. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into pieces with a spoon, until browned and juices form – about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the strained broccoli rabe to the pan with the sausage mixture and toss to coat it with the juices. Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir in the Parmesan and pepper; salt to taste. Serve immediately.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received three full-sized bottles of Crisco’s Olive Oils (Extra Virgin, Pure, and Light Tasting) for free. The opinions, views & pictures expressed above are my own thoughts, and I hope you’ll give these a try soon!

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10 comments on “It’s Because “Olive” You So Much.

  1. Wow, your photographs are beautiful and the bruschetta and pasta looks delicious. Could be a combination that will make this my husband’s new favourite dish!
    I love pure virgin olive oil and not just for cooking. Found a recipe at Amanda’s Easy Peasy Organic blog for a facial wash that uses it and I’m making it all the time now. I think I’m hooked on it and it feels so good cleaning your face and knowing that what you are using on it is totally organic, less expensive and full of anti-oxidants!

    • Nicole on said:

      Thank you, Paula! I promise, both recipes are out-of-this-world delicious, and I hope your hubby will ♥ them too!

      The face wash sounds so interesting – I will check that out, as my current wash/scrub is almost gone! :-)

  2. I’m craving bruschetta so bad now. It’s just difficult to make when I’m the only one who would eat it. :(

    • Nicole on said:

      Karyn, you could so easily 1/2 or 1/4 this recipe and just make yourself six little pieces or so. I’m doing that with my second loaf – making a small batch each day for a fresh lunch. ♥

  3. Amber Barber on said:

    I agree Karyn, I am dealing with a major craving now too.. the difference between you and me is that I am GLAD noone else wants bruschetta…. cause’ I ain’t sharing! :)

  4. shelly (cookies and cups) on said:

    Gorgeous pictures! I could live off of bruschetta!

  5. Kailee Adams on said:

    I could smell those tomatoes through my screen! YUMMMM

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I’m Nicole, and I’m glad you’ve stopped by my little corner of the web! I’m a former Air Force wife whose passions are baking, cookie-making, and photo-taking… all to the benefit of my loves – my family! C’mon in to…read more.


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